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Myths about apprenticeships hinder retraining

10 September 2019

Nearly two-thirds of the UK workforce want to change their career path but many wrongly believe they are too old to embark on an apprenticeship.

Nearly two-thirds of the UK workforce (62%) would like to change their career path, according to new research by Jobrapido. More than half of UK employees (52%) also admitted they would readily embark on an apprenticeship if it could support a career change or help them move to a different sector.

Jobrapido polled 1,444 employees across a range of sectors, including sales, marketing, engineering, transportation, construction and technology. Around half (49%) said they wanted to move to a different industry and organisation. More than one in ten (13%) of those polled said they wanted to set up their own business.

Yet nearly two-thirds also believe they are too old to do an apprenticeship, despite the fact that there is no upper age limit for apprenticeships. A quarter of respondents felt that apprenticeships would be a step down given their career experience.

The biggest obstacle to changing careers for one-third of those polled is family or financial commitments. Other key barriers include:

  • Lack of confidence (17%);
  • Lack of qualifications (19%);
  • Not knowing how to go about changing careers (19%);
  • The time it would take to re-train (14%).

Respondents were also asked what could support them to make a career change. The top responses included: a change of mindset, training, outside funding and government or industry support.

"We live in an era where a job is no longer a job for life and in fact many could have at least two or even three different careers in their working life," said Rob Brouwer, ceo of Jobrapido.

"Yet despite the majority of the UK workforce open to the possibility of an apprenticeship, the vast majority have already ruled this out as they believe there is an age barrier in order to access. The reality is that apprenticeships are open above the age of 16 and there is no age barrier.

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

Written by Rachel Miller.

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