Can you be too old for apprenticeships? Becoming an adult apprentice.

Posted on Friday, November 26, 2021 by The Office ApprenticeNo comments

You’re never to old, especially when it comes to apprenticeships!

Apprenticeships have historically been associated or labelled with only being for 16-24 year olds, because this is partly true. Prior to 2010 the upper age limit for apprenticeships was 25, so anyone who was older could not start an apprenticeship. 

Adult Apprentice

Here is a quick history lesson on apprenticeships:

Apprenticeships were first introduced back in the middle ages and you could start an apprenticeship as young 10yrs old. Then fast forward a couple of hundred years and and the modern apprenticeship was introduced in 1993, What are modern apprenticeship?, which lasted 11 years until there was another reform in 2010 when someone decided they weren’t "modern" anymore and just “Apprenticeships”.

Bear with us, we are getting to our original point…..

In 2010 Higher Apprenticeships were introduced, Degree Apprenticeships later in 2015, and also funding for SMEs but only for apprentices aged between 16-24yrs of age. But a new pattern started to emerge, people over the age of 25 were taking up apprenticeships as an alternative option to further education, in fact the numbers kept doubling to nearly half a million for the following few years. The big facto to this was the removal of the "Train to Gain" scheme which was specifically for adults, people over the age of 25, so there was no alternative apart from starting an apprenticeship if you wanted to learn on the job whilst earning a wage.

So in answer to the question, Can you be too old for apprenticeships? No. You are never too old for apprenticeships. In fact in the year 19/20 over 40% of apprenticeship starts were adult apprenticeships, which is classed as anyone over the age of 25. There are people in there 60's doing apprenticeships and if you are already in full-time employment you can start an apprenticeship alongside your normal job.

But why is there such a stigma attached to the fact people over a specific age have to be associated as “Adult Apprentices”, surely they are just apprentices?

Never too old for Apprenticeships

If you are over the hill, over 25…lol, and want to gain more experience or qualification and are already in full-time employment then why not contact your HR or Learning and Development department and request information on the apprenticeships available.

You’re never too old for anything, let alone apprenticeships!

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