Apprenticeships must be open to all – DWP

Apprenticeships should not just be for young people, a new report has stated. Apprenticeships should be an “all age programme”, according to the Department for Work and pensions new piece of research, called Fuller Working Lives: A Partnership Approach.

“We know that older people can and do access apprenticeships,” the report states, quoting  “In 2015/16 over 57,700 (11.3 per cent) of those starting an apprenticeship were aged 45-59 and 3,500 were 60 years and over (just under one per cent),” it continued.

The report also stated that in 2011/12 there were 62,200 45 to 59-year-old starts, and 3,680 for over 60s. This compared to just over 57,000 for 25 to 59s, and 3,560 over 60s for 2015/16 (the last full academic year). It says that to continue this healthy trend, there should be some reforms to the ways in whoch apprenticeships are advertised and delivered. One recommendation was to Remove age limits – “ensure that apprenticeships, job advertisements and other routes into employment are offered without age limits”

 

‘A life changing experience’

The report highlighted the example of Lucille Galloway, who had a long work history, having been a student adviser, nanny and a care worker, but who had never considered retraining, especially not in retail banking.

“She joined Barclays on the firm’s Bolder Apprenticeship scheme aged 51. After being out of work for two years she is now a Community Banker at Barclays in Ealing Broadway, London. Lucille said: “Taking on an apprenticeship role has been an amazing experience. It has given me a new lease of life and has opened my eyes to the possibilities of what is out there. This experience has literally been life changing and I don’t say that lightly.”

And it’s not just private sector companies that are carrying the load on this: The DWP says it is working across Government to ensure our departments become exemplars in their support for older workers.

“For example DWP itself is offering a range of apprenticeship schemes, open to candidates of all ages. We currently have over 400 apprentices aged over 50 working in DWP.”