Apprenticeships for over 50s

I am 53 and unemployed. I would like an apprenticeship as an IT technician. I have not been able to find any for my age. I will appreciate your help. I will attend DIP HE distance learning Human resources course that begins in February 2021. I am interested if there is an opportunity for me to do an apprenticeship in HR or Admin alongside my part time, online course. I am still improving my English language skills as I recently moved to the UK. I have 26 years work experience, of which 10 years I spent in managing my own small business that dealt with art and craft activities. In that firm I was the person who was responsible for all admin, direct sales, customer service and HR duties.

Employing older workers


Adult apprenticeships have become increasingly popular over the years, in particular with more professionals considering a change in direction. If you are living in the UK, over the age of 24 and not already in full-time education, you may be eligible. There have been a number of government initiatives to hire apprentices over the years and most recently companies hiring over 25 year old’s would receive over £1,500 between August 2020-January 2021.

There are several ways to look for Adult Apprenticeships:

Job Boards

The quickest and easiest way to identify who is recruiting adult apprentices is to look at a job board. By simply typing into google ‘Adult Apprenticeships’ you will be able to see which job boards, including google’s own job search function are advertising adult apprenticeships, including apprenticeships for the over 50s.

There are a number of jobsites to look out for including:


The GOV.UK website allows you to search for all levels of apprenticeships, from trainees, degree and adult apprenticeships. It is easy to navigate and you can search by employers to understand which organisations recruits apprenticeships within your local area.

Find Apprenticeships allows you to specify location, sector and working hours and will search thousands of recruiters and hiring organisations and list the vacancies available.

The UCAS job board is for the Higher Apprenticeship route. A higher apprenticeship can take from one to five years to complete, and involves part-time study at a college, university, or training provider. This may be an option if you are studying towards a higher apprenticeship Level 4 and upwards. is a more generalist job board that searches all jobs and sectors and is not limited to just apprenticeships. To search for apprenticeship opportunities, just ensure you add the keyword terms ‘Adult Apprentice’ AND ‘HR’ to make your search more targeted.

Some of these job boards allow you to upload your CV so hiring managers and recruiters can find you too.

Speculative applications

In addition to job searching for live opportunities, you can research and explore which companies offer apprenticeships too. has a directory of organisations who advertise and recruit for these types of opportunities. By understanding which companies recruit adult apprenticeships, you can make a proactive approach to them for future opportunities.

Prepare a tailored speculative email. If you write a targeted email, you’ll look pro-active, confident and keen. The purpose of the letter is to attract sufficient interest so that someone wants to consider you for future opportunities.


Talk to people who may be able to help you. Your online tutor may be able to share insight based on previous students and their career journeys post qualification. Also understand who is also undertaking the distance-based learning course. If you have access to a learning portal, usually they provide communication tools for keeping in contact with student support services, your educational trainers and fellow students.  You can look to build relationships with fellow online learners, not only to support you in completion of your course but to network and share job search techniques with.

Keep your options open

Adult apprenticeships are in demand, with more job seekers looking for a change in direction you may want to keep your search open and not just limit yourself to apprenticeships. Consider part time, temporary or remote opportunities in line with your studies and build on your UK experience and network of professional contacts too. Companies may be more open to supporting you with your training and development when you are employed with them and they see the value you can bring. Once you have completed your probationary period, explore internal opportunities or discuss apprenticeship schemes as part of your career development.

*Emma Louise O’Brien is Head of Career Coaching at outplacement specialists Renovo.

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