Apprenticeships “aren’t just for school leavers”

A 33-year-old mum from East Salford is proving that apprenticeships aren’t just for young people and is encouraging others to follow her lead.

Karen Hart was out of work for thirteen years bringing up her children and caring for her mother, before embarking on a two year Customer Services apprenticeship with employment support charity The Broughton Trust.

Karen said: “When I first started people used to say to me ‘how can you do an apprenticeship at your age’, but it doesn’t matter how old you are, anyone can do an apprenticeship – you just have to want to do it. It was very daunting coming back to full time work after 13 years, but I’m so glad I did it. My children had reached an age where I could go back to work, so I knew I had to take that step and it’s changed my life completely. I enjoy working so much; I don’t know how I ever stayed at home.”

“I’ve learnt so many new skills and I’m really growing in confidence. Before I started I hadn’t even been on a computer properly, but you get all the training that you need and I’ve now got skills and qualifications that will help me in all areas of my life. If anyone is even thinking about an apprenticeship I would tell them to just go for it. It’s changed my life and my children’s life for the better and if I can do it then anyone can.”

Sue Sutton, director of customer and neighbourhood services at Salix Homes, said: “Apprenticeships aren’t just for school leavers anymore, they’re for everyone. There are lots of people out there who have found themselves out of work later in life for many reasons, and an apprenticeship could be the key to getting their foot back on the career ladder. Karen is an ambassador for the success of apprenticeships, she has learnt new skills and transformed her life and we are very proud to support her on that journey.”