As an adult you may think applying for an apprenticeship is not a viable option, but there are plenty of opportunities available

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers and young people; there is no upper age limit and if you’re over 16, living in England and not in full-time education, then you’re eligible to become an apprentice. Adult apprenticeships help to improve the quality and range of opportunities available to you within your career, and you will always benefit from continuing to learn throughout your career journey.


How could an adult apprenticeship help me?

Have you been promoted into a new role that requires you to take on new responsibilities and exercise new skills and abilities?

Are you thinking about changing career?

Perhaps you are currently working in a manual role that is difficult to continue due to ill health, or starting a new job that requires totally different skills and abilities.

Wherever you are in your career, an apprenticeship could make a big difference for your future.


An apprenticeship is an education

Think of an apprenticeship as a journey—you’ll start as a novice in the role and become an expert.

Apprenticeships should be expansive, and focus on developing the whole person for a job, a career, and for life.

Going beyond that, an apprenticeship will instil a sense of curiosity, lifelong learning, discovery and improvement in all apprentices.


Fair access to apprenticeship benefits

Remember, for you employer, fair access to apprenticeships for everyone is both morally right and economically sound. There can be real business benefits from investing in the development of a diverse workforce through an apprenticeship programme.

Supporting non-traditional employees to succeed can in the short term require additional resources, but can also bring significant long-term benefits.

See also Diversity: not a tick-box exercise.


Is it more difficult to get an apprentice as an adult?

Adult apprenticeships have become more popular in recent years, however you may find a few barriers when trying to secure a place mainly due to the cost for an employer to take on an adult apprentice. It is much cheaper to employ a 17 year old than a 30 year old. A lot of companies will have their own wage levels however and will pay above the minimum wage, so bear that in mind when applying.



If you’re aged 19 or above, you may be eligible for adult skills funding if you undertake an advanced-level apprenticeship or higher apprenticeship, this could help pay for childcare or travel which is related to your training course. For further details, visit the Student Finance England website.


Find out more

For further information, visit the Apprenticeship Choices section of this website.

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