Employees feel too old for apprenticeships

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Many employees would like the opportunity to start an apprenticeship or switch career but are worried they're too old, according to Jobrapido

Its research found that more than half (52%) of UK employees would readily embark on an apprenticeship if it could support a career change or move them to a different industry sector.

Of those that wouldn’t embark on an apprenticeship, nearly two-thirds (32%) believe they are too old and that the age limit is between 16 and 24. A quarter (25%) felt that apprenticeships would be a step down given their career experience.

The research also asked employees what the biggest obstacles to making a career change were. Three in 10 (30%) cited family or financial commitments, with a further 17% stating that a lack of confidence and that they would need to change their mindset. Nineteen per cent believed their lack of qualifications prohibits a change while the same proportion said they have no understanding of how to go about switching careers, and 14% said they are put off by the time it takes to retrain.

When asked what could support them to make a change, more than a quarter (26%) stated a change of mindset, followed by investment in training and/or educational qualifications or new skills (17%), support in the form of outside funding or a grant (12%), and government and/or industry support with further initiatives (11%).

CEO of Jobrapido Rob Brouwer said that age should not be a barrier to those looking to start an apprenticeship: “Despite the majority of the UK workforce being open to the possibility of apprenticeships, the vast majority have already ruled this out as they believe there is an age barrier in order to access [them]. The reality is that apprenticeships are open [to people] above the age of 16 and there is no age barrier.”

He said that the government should work with education providers to reach out to workers who might consider themselves "too old" to embark on an apprenticeship.

“There has been a big drive in recent years to encourage more apprenticeships in the UK... Yet perception lags behind reality about the criteria and age of apprenticeships. This in turn is preventing more of the UK workforce from capitalising on the opportunities to retrain, acquire new skills and gain confidence in the workplace. All of which lay the right foundation to build an entirely new career," he said.

“What is needed is an education drive from UK industry, the government, educational establishments and employers as to how anyone over the age of 16 can access and embark on an apprenticeship.”

Brouwer added that on the whole people no longer want a job for life. “We live in an era where a job is no longer a job for life and many could have at least two or even three different careers in their working life. It is not surprising that so many who took part in the research harbour ambitions to change their career path,” he said.

Jobrapido surveyed 1,444 employees who work across different industry sectors including sales, marketing, engineering, transportation, construction and technology in July 2019.

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