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The Age Old Question: Can You Do an Apprenticeship at Any Age?

When it comes to apprenticeships, many people still harbour the misconception that these programmes are exclusively for young school leavers, fresh off their GCSEs or A-levels. This perception raises an age-old question, 'Can you do an apprenticeship at any age?' Let’s delve deeper into this topic and clear the air.

Woman working on construction site

Apprenticeships: A Definition

Before we explore the age-related aspect, let's first define what an apprenticeship is. An apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme combining on-the-job training with academic instruction. It provides individuals with practical skills, qualifications, and a deeper understanding of their chosen field while earning a wage.

Can you do Apprenticeships at Any Age?

In the UK, anyone over the age of 16 who is not in full-time education can start an apprenticeship. So, contrary to common perception, there's no upper age limit. Yes, you read that right. Whether you're 18 or 68, apprenticeships are open to you.


The Value of Mature Apprentices

Mature apprentices, defined as those aged 25 and above, often bring a wealth of life and work experience to their roles. These individuals typically bring unique attributes to the workplace that can greatly benefit their employers and themselves.

  1. Diverse Perspectives: Mature apprentices come from various backgrounds and carry with them a broad range of experiences. This diversity contributes to a more dynamic and enriched workplace environment.

  2. Strong Work Ethic: Older workers often have a strong sense of responsibility and a mature work ethic, which can translate into higher productivity and reliability.

  3. Stability: Mature apprentices, having had time to explore different career paths, often have a clearer understanding of their career goals. This can lead to greater commitment to their roles and less likelihood of job-hopping.

  4. Life Experience: Life experience can prove invaluable in many working environments. Older apprentices can handle complex situations with grace and provide interpersonal skills that younger apprentices might still be developing.

Opportunities for Career Change and Upskilling

Apprenticeships offer an invaluable opportunity for individuals to change their career path or enhance their skills in their current field, regardless of age. This is particularly significant in dynamic and evolving industries like construction and the built environment.

Career Change:

For individuals looking to transition into a new field, an apprenticeship can provide the perfect blend of practical training and theoretical learning. A mature apprentice looking to switch to construction, for example, can start with an apprenticeship in construction operations or civil engineering. This allows them to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for the field, while also gaining valuable on-the-job experience.

Apprenticeships in the built environment, such as building services design or surveying, offer similar opportunities. These apprenticeships provide in-depth knowledge of building regulations, sustainability issues, and project management skills – all of which are crucial for a successful career in this sector.


For those already working in fields like construction and built environment, apprenticeships can offer opportunities for upskilling. Advanced or higher-level apprenticeships in these sectors can help individuals specialise in a particular area or advance to supervisory or management roles. For example, a construction worker might undertake a higher apprenticeship in construction management to move into a project management role.

Upskilling through apprenticeships not only enhances an individual's competency but also increases their value in the workplace. It's an investment that can lead to career advancement, increased earning potential, and job satisfaction.

Whether you're seeking a fresh start in a new industry or looking to climb the career ladder in your current field, apprenticeships provide the flexibility and opportunities to help you achieve your goals.

The Average Age of GLP Training Apprentices

Contrary to the stereotype that apprenticeships are only for young people just leaving school, at GLP Training, we see a different reality. Among our national employers, the average age of our apprentices is 34 years old.

This figure truly reflects the diverse age range that apprenticeships can cater to, and it also echoes the benefits of lifelong learning and career development opportunities that apprenticeships offer. Our apprentices come from all walks of life, bringing a wealth of diverse experiences to their roles.

Whether they're upskilling in their current job, seeking a career change, or just eager to explore new learning opportunities, our apprentices prove that age is no barrier to starting an apprenticeship. Their success stories validate the fact that it's never too late to embrace learning and enhance your skills through an apprenticeship. At GLP Training, we believe that education is a journey, not a destination, and this journey can be embarked upon at any age.

Living Proof

Indeed, real-life examples offer the most persuasive arguments. Here are two incredible stories of individuals who dared to break stereotypes and prove that apprenticeships truly are for all ages:

  1. From Tax Inspector to Horticulturist: Read the story of how a former tax inspector in his 50s decided to follow his passion for gardening and became a horticultural apprentice. This career pivot, enabled by an apprenticeship, demonstrates that age is not an obstacle to learning new skills or switching careers.

  2. Civil Service Success: Check out this inspiring blog post from the Civil Service. An employee in his late 40s shares his journey of becoming an apprentice and the subsequent career progression he experienced. His story underscores the potential of apprenticeships for career enhancement at any age.

These real-life examples are living proof that apprenticeships are accessible and beneficial to anyone, regardless of age. If you're considering an apprenticeship, let these stories inspire you to take the next step in your learning journey.


So, to answer the age-old question - yes, you can do an apprenticeship at any age. With no upper age limit, apprenticeships are a viable route for lifelong learning, career change, and upskilling, offering an array of opportunities regardless of your age. Remember, it's not the number of candles on your birthday cake that counts, but your passion for learning and growth.

Whether you're a school leaver pondering your next steps, a seasoned professional considering a career pivot, or an older worker wanting to upskill, an apprenticeship could be your ticket to a rewarding future. Age is just a number, and when it comes to apprenticeships, the learning landscape is wide open.

Apprenticeship Opportunities with GLP Training

At GLP Training, we firmly believe in the power of learning at any age, which is reflected in our diverse apprenticeship programmes. We offer a broad range of opportunities, spanning various sectors, to meet the individual needs of our learners and the strategic needs of our employer partners.

From Construction and Building Services, Customer Service, Leadership and Management, to Business and Administration apprenticeships, our programmes are designed to empower individuals to learn, grow, and prosper in their chosen fields.

Our courses are crafted with industry relevance in mind, ensuring that learners acquire the most up-to-date and practical skills. Our unique approach to learning combines theoretical understanding with hands-on experience, making our apprenticeships a rich and valuable journey towards personal and professional development.

We invite you to explore the apprenticeships we offer, take the next step in your learning journey, and join the many success stories of our apprentices. Regardless of your age or career stage, at GLP Training, we have an opportunity that could change your life.

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