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Learning Through an Apprenticeship

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 19 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Learning Through Apprenticeships

It’s a well known fact that there are many people who are not particularly good when it comes to ‘academics’ but who, nevertheless, have many practical skills with which they can carve out a career for themselves. Apprenticeships are often the answer. They not only enable you to develop your skills further, learn new ones, receive further training and obtain professionally recognised qualifications but you’ll also benefit by being able to achieve all of the above whilst also having a job and learning whilst earning a pay packet at the same time.

They are not strictly focused on practical work per se. In fact, many apprenticeships will require you to undertake college courses which might contain an element of academic ability in some way. However, before you write them off because you felt you were hopeless at school, it’s important to remember that this is not history, geography, R.E or any other subject which might have completely clouded your experience of school but you’ll be studying areas which are of relevance to your chosen profession and which, therefore, are more likely to be of interest to you which in turn makes it easier to learn.

Is An Apprenticeship Right For Me?

There is no real straightforward answer to this question. It all depends. There are around 180 apprenticeships on offer in the UK today which span across over 80 industry sectors. In addition to the more typical apprenticeship schemes you might be familiar with such as electricians, joiners, bricklayers and plumbers etc, you can also undertake apprenticeships in many of the so-called ‘white collar’ industries - in accountancy and business administration, for example. Usually, it’s a case of assessing your own skills and career preferences and then finding out more.

It should not, however, be considered an easy option to, say, going on to university, for example. Yes, there are some apprenticeships in which you can be qualified after a year or two which might seem far more preferable than going to university for 3 years, unpaid and with no guarantee of a job afterwards. However, to take the opposite standpoint, there are no guarantees that you’ll be kept on with your employer once your apprenticeship is completed - although in most cases, if you’ve become a valuable member of the workforce, a company will usually try to retain its most prized staff. Also, depending on the type of occupation you have in mind, certain apprenticeships can take up to 5 years which is even longer than the vast majority of university degree courses.

Ultimately, an apprenticeship is something you should consider carefully and it may well provide you with the perfect solution to both learning new skills and having a job at the same time and in some industries such as bricklaying, for example, if that’s where you see your future lying, an apprenticeship is likely to be the established route you will take. With any apprenticeship however, comes a lot of hard work and juggling the commitments of holding down a job with the training side of things.

Do I Need Qualifications?

Not necessarily. Many apprentices are taken on and nurtured because of their existing skills and personal commitment and dedication in their pursuit of a particular career. However, there are some more technically based apprenticeships which may require you to have A-C grades in English, Maths and Science to GCSE level.

What If I’m Older Than The ‘Conventional’ Apprentice?

Apprenticeships today are not just for the likes of school leavers and people in their late teens. In fact, in August 2007, the government introduced an initiative to offer apprenticeships to those over the age of 25. The scope of these can vary between different areas of the country, however, depending upon the types of skills that companies in your local area need.

For more information, you should start by visiting the UK’s dedicated ‘Apprenticeships’ website and your local Connexions office is also able to offer you advice and tell you where you might find out more details of what’s available in your area.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi I'm 36 and based in Scarborough North Yorkshire, I've looked everywhere for courses in plastering and the only ones I can find are in parts of the county that aren't accessible via public transport, who should I talk to as I would like to learn this trade while remaining in my full time job as my family can't survive on an apprentice wage, Is this even possible please? Thanks in advance
G - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:26 PM
Kat - Your Question:
I am 25-26 in June 17.I am really looking for a apprenticeship in care or something to do with children but age is being a issue being told that normal apprenticeship is 16-18yrs old. I wanna be able to so a qualification and work. X

Our Response:
There's no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, although arrangements for funding are different if you are over 24 years of age, please see link here. I hope this helps.
ExploreAdultLearning - 1-Jun-17 @ 2:43 PM
I am 25-26 in June 17. I am really looking for a apprenticeship in care or something to do with children but age is being a issue being told that normal apprenticeship is 16-18yrs old. I wanna be able to so a qualification and work. X
Kat - 1-Jun-17 @ 2:09 PM
I've just come out of try g to set up new business but couldn't get enough money together in retail recycling clothing shop now unemployed would like to train in retail get more experience but I am 50 years old
Squid - 15-May-17 @ 12:08 PM
Dc - Your Question:
Who do I speak to in regards to someone taken me on as an adult apprentice electrian in Scotland?

Our Response:
Please see links here, here and here. There are plenty of other sites too if you do an online search.
ExploreAdultLearning - 11-May-17 @ 2:11 PM
Who do i speak to in regards to someone taken me on as an adult apprentice electrian in Scotland?
Dc - 10-May-17 @ 11:33 PM
I am 33 and would love to get into hairdressing with an apprenticeship. I have applied for some vacancies but when they kept on turning my applications down I called the learning provider, they basically said the hairdresser places are for 16-18 year olds. Iv lost heart it's happened so many times.
Cdove - 28-Apr-17 @ 6:23 AM
I'm 29y/o and I have my level 2 fitness instructor course I would like to proceed and the fitness industryand been working warehouse jobs past couple years and would like to get back into what I love to do any help. Thanks for your time Tash
Tash - 26-Apr-17 @ 8:37 AM
Interested in doing a IT technician apprenticeship with the hope of getting a full time job
Icky - 22-Apr-17 @ 11:51 AM
Tony - Your Question:
Hi, My names Antony, in 33 years and I've been working as vehicle valeter in the motor trade for over 15 years. There is no progression to be made in the industry I'm in. Earning whilst learning would be a better option for me and my family so I am interested in doing an adult apprenticeship. However, I'm unsure what it is I'd like to do. How do I find out what apprenticeships are available for my age range, in my area?

Our Response:
Please see the Apprenticeship Guide link here for more information on adult apprenticeships.
ExploreAdultLearning - 11-Apr-17 @ 12:08 PM
Hi, My names Antony, in 33 years and I've been working as vehicle valeter in the motor trade for over 15 years. There is no progression to be made in the industry I'm in. Earning whilst learning would be a better option for me and my family so I am interested in doing an adult apprenticeship. However, I'm unsure what it is I'd like to do. How do I find out what apprenticeships are available for my age range, in my area?
Tony - 10-Apr-17 @ 11:37 AM
Kelly - Your Question:
Hi I'm 40 and wanting to do an apprenticeship I'm desperate to get a career to take me up to retirement age please can you help thank you

Our Response:
There's no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, although arrangements for funding are different if you are over 24 years of age. You can see more via the link here.
ExploreAdultLearning - 3-Apr-17 @ 12:26 PM
Hi I'm 40 and wanting to do an apprenticeship I'm desperate to get a career to take me up to retirement age please can you help thank you
Kelly - 2-Apr-17 @ 12:00 PM
I am a 36yo laboratory assistant who has been working for the NHS for 17 years. I have no degree and with the NHS becoming a worse place to work, what career prospects are there for me?
Emeshe - 30-Mar-17 @ 11:09 AM
Flash - Your Question:
I am nearly 27 years old and would like to get into plumbing. Some years ago I did a city and guilds level one course but have not done anything with plumbing since. Can someone give me some advice please and help me to sort out my dream.

Our Response:
You could continue studying level 2 and level three via college, or apply for a adult apprenticeship to see you through the rest of your training via the link here or here. I hope this helps.
ExploreAdultLearning - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:24 PM
I am nearly 27 years old and would like to get into plumbing. Some years ago I did a city and guilds level one course but have not done anything with plumbing since. Can someone give me some advice please and help me to sort out my dream.
Flash - 26-Mar-17 @ 9:09 PM
Carolyn - Your Question:
HelloI am 29 years old and a mother to 3 young children. I would like to find an apprenticeship with early years as I would like to get experience and knowledge within a nursery setting as this is what I have started studying towards. It would need to be near Sunbury-on-Thames as this is where I am based.Thankyou any help is appreciated

Our Response:
You can see more regarding adult apprenticeships via the link here. I hope this helps.
ExploreAdultLearning - 17-Mar-17 @ 10:56 AM
Hello I am 29 years old and a mother to 3 young children. I would like to find an apprenticeship with early years as I would like to get experienceand knowledge within a nursery setting as this is what I have started studying towards. It would need to be near Sunbury-on-Thames as this is where I am based. Thankyou any help is appreciated
Carolyn - 16-Mar-17 @ 5:22 PM
Katieb - Your Question:
Hi I'm nearly 27 and wanting to do a beauty apprentice including massages nails waxing spray tans how would I go about this and would I be able to? I'm from Sheffield so would need to stay here due to daughter.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will help further.
ExploreAdultLearning - 10-Mar-17 @ 2:45 PM
Hi I'm 27 years old and I really would like to get back into hairdressing, but find it really hard to find a salon that is willing to train me. Because of funding. Please can I have some advice.. I've looked at the link that you keep posting.. I've had an interview and mentioned about what I've read and it has not helped me.
Emma - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:54 PM
Hi I'm nearly 27 and wanting to do a beauty apprentice including massages nails waxing spray tans how would I go about this and would I be able to? I'm from Sheffield so would need to stay here due to daughter.
Katieb - 9-Mar-17 @ 9:35 PM
I'm 26 and I have done a level 1 in bricklaying I was hoping to get my nvq 2 in bricklaying. Is there an apprenticeship I can take to gain this qualification?
Tempo - 2-Mar-17 @ 10:05 PM
Jillp - Your Question:
Hi I'm 43 years of age. I'm thinking of a career change but not sure what. I love animals especially dogs and am a friendly chatty person. Can I do an apprenticeship in anything with these qualities.

Our Response:
Please see link here which should tell you all you need to know. There's no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, although arrangements for funding are different if you are over 24 years of age.
ExploreAdultLearning - 20-Feb-17 @ 2:27 PM
Hazel 1 - Your Question:
Hi I am Brenda. I am 46 and would like to start an apprenticeship in massage therapy I live in the south-east of London. Can you put me in the right direction please?

Our Response:
There's no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice, although arrangements for funding are different if you are over 24 years of age, please see link here
ExploreAdultLearning - 20-Feb-17 @ 1:56 PM
Hi I'm 43 years of age.I'm thinking of a career change but not sure what . I love animals especially dogs and am a friendly chatty person. Can I do an apprenticeship in anything with these qualities.
Jillp - 19-Feb-17 @ 10:13 PM
Hi I am Brenda. I am 46 and would like to start an apprenticeship in massage therapy I live in the south-east of London. Can you put me in the right direction please?
Hazel 1 - 19-Feb-17 @ 8:11 PM
Mike - Your Question:
Hi I have just turned 50 and was wondering if there is any apprenticeships that I could take up at my age.

Our Response:
You can see more via the Apprenticeship Guide here. I hope this helps.
ExploreAdultLearning - 31-Jan-17 @ 2:52 PM
Hi I have just turned 50 and was wondering if there is any apprenticeships that i could take up at my age.
Mike - 31-Jan-17 @ 12:13 PM
Hi, I'm 46 and been self employed for over 18 years old but for for a few years I've been interested in carpentry and really want to start a career in joinery. I'm I too old to start an adult apprenticeship?
Jase - 30-Dec-16 @ 10:56 AM
Hi Im 25 and only have ever worked in nursery's and getting involved with lots of duties with in the setting, attending meetings to.I would like to learn about children services and or speech and language apprenticeships. I'm always willing to further my knowledge please get back to me. Thank you
Birchy - 9-Nov-16 @ 7:25 AM
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