New research conducted by Northern Skills Group has revealed that 51% of people believe apprenticeships are only available to people aged under 30-years-old.
In fact, there is no age limit to start an apprenticeship, which can provide the opportunity to train towards a new career while continuing to earn an income.
Northern Skills Group, the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College, has undertaken the study in the lead up to the peak apprenticeship application period to help combat the misconception that apprenticeships have an upper age limit and to raise awareness to both employers and potential applicants.
Since its launch in 2016, Northern Skills Group has offered apprenticeships across more than 21 different sectors. Opportunities are available to people from a wide variety of backgrounds, enabling candidates of all ages to begin a new career and training path.
Northern Skills Group supports learners of all ages on apprenticeship programmes and has witnessed many reap the rewards of starting an apprenticeship later in life. These include Finance Apprentice Gemma Peall, 33, and Business Administration Apprentice Lisa Rumins, 46.
Before starting her apprenticeship, Gemma was a stay-at-home mother with three children. After starting her training aged 30, she is now in her third year of training, with ambitions to work in managerial accounting after qualifying.
Gemma said: “I chose the apprenticeship route as it allowed me to earn money and gain valuable work experience at the same time. Although it can be difficult to balance work commitments alongside childcare in many jobs, Northern Skills Group has supported me to progress with flexible working hours which accommodate my personal requirements.”
After gaining experience in retail and administrative positions, Lisa decided to change her career path and retrain in a business role. Having gained industry-specific experience, as well as developing her IT skills, Lisa hopes to progress on to the Level 3 Business Administration course in October.
Lisa said: “My apprenticeship is the perfect opportunity for me to retrain in a completely different industry, while gaining desirable qualifications. Before starting my training with Northern Skills Group, I was completely unaware that you could apply for an apprenticeship over the age of 30. I believe it’s essential that all people considering a career change a bit later in life are aware of the options available to them.”
Carol Jordan, Director of Employer Engagement at Northern Skills Group, said: “Our research proves that there is a misconception surrounding apprenticeships that needs to be overcome as this route can open a variety of opportunities to people, whatever their age. They are fantastic examples of learners who are excelling in their qualifications after changing career, and I hope cases such as these will help increase awareness of apprenticeship opportunities available to all ages.”