Would you do an apprenticeship as an adult?

(16 Posts)
SassyS89 Tue 23-Oct-18 12:07:15

I am currently working as a full time receptionist with two young kids (5 and 3). I would like to work part time but this is not looking very hopeful within my current role, and part time jobs are extremely limited. I've been doing front of house work for 10 years and I am ready to progress further but as the company I work for do not have secretaries/PA's this will be impossible without going elsewhere. Ideally I would like to become a secretary/legal secretary but as I do not really have any secretarial experience, even junior secretarial roles I do not meet the criteria for.

I've just seen an apprenticeship for the Mayor's Office in my local council. I feel I meet the person specification and this would be a good way to gain some experience as a PA (the job description states once you complete the Business Administration Level 3 qualification, you can apply for an Executive Assistant position).

I am 29 yo, do you think this is too old to apply for an apprenticeship?

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Rebecca36 Tue 23-Oct-18 12:21:08

I don't think you're too old to apply for an apprenticeship, it shows you have some ambition and determination. Sounds like a good job, hope you get it.

Isleepinahedgefund Tue 23-Oct-18 15:10:40

I'm in the civil service and a high proportion of our apprentices are 25 and over. We hardly have any of the "typical" apprentice age. They also come from all walks of life, including people changing career.

One thing to check beforehand is whether there is the possibility of being kept on after the apprenticeship is over. We keep the good ones on. This needs to be specified up front, we had some trouble last year as some of the contracts had been written differently and we couldn't keep them on.

notacooldad Tue 23-Oct-18 15:13:23

My colleague applied for an apprenticeship at the age of 39. She lost out to a woman of 48.
A lot of people applied for the role.

PourSomeSugarOnMoi Tue 23-Oct-18 15:13:39

You are definitely not too old! It sounds like a great opportunity.

maxelly Tue 23-Oct-18 16:55:52

29 - that is really young! Of course you are not too old.

'Modern' apprenticeships are quite different to the old style where they were primarily in 'trades' and for school leavers. In the public sector particularly we call any training or development scheme we can an 'apprenticeship' up to and including MA, MSc and MRes programmes (this helps us meet our % targets and use up our levy budget!) and the vast majority of people on the programmes already have some work experience (with us or other employers) and are not school leavers. We have people in their 50s doing apprenticeships.

You might think that this makes the government's political headlines about how they are promoting apprenticeships to help school leavers and young people a bit suspect (and you'd probably have a point!) but it certainly means you should go for the opportunity!

WinterBerry7 Tue 23-Oct-18 16:58:48

I train apprentices for a living. Out of my caseload of 40,I’d say about 70% are ‘older’ than you’d expect a typical apprentice to be.
IMO they are a great way to develop within a company, and much better structured than they have been historically.

SassyS89 Tue 23-Oct-18 17:43:40

Thanks all - I decided to apply for the apprenticeship as I feel it is a great opportunity to help me develop in my career. The closing date is tomorrow so fingers crossed I hear something back soon.

There will be screening and then an interview on a separate day. What exactly does the screening consist of? Is it like a group interview?

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MeteorMedow Tue 23-Oct-18 17:52:30

I was a legal secretary for 5 years. I started in 2010 at 18 with only customer service/ retail experience.

You’re not too old to do an apprenticeship but I don’t think you need to - the pay can be terrible if you are supporting a family.

Unless you live in a particularly competitive area I would search for legal assistant roles - then look at the lowest pay brackets and apply for those. It will say you need 2-3 years experience but they ALL say that - the one I applied for said that and I still got the job.

Equally if you want something different/ better pay I would look at insurance companies they have lots of different jobs which combine phone work with admin - pay lots better than a reception job and will snap you up if you’re good at talking to people (not sales but customer service/ claim managig/liaising between customers and garages...etc)

daisychain01 Tue 23-Oct-18 19:23:02

Unless an organisation can fully justify an age-specific restriction, they run the risk of being challenged under the Equality Act for not allowing anyone whatever age to throw their hat into the ring.

There has never been a better time to be considered, so if you have the qualifying credentials, whatever those are, go for it. They can reject an applicant if they don't meet their predetermined criteria, because that is very objectively measured, but a rejection based on a candidate's year of birth, is a no-no, as it's discriminatory.

RonniePasas Tue 23-Oct-18 19:40:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EBearhug Tue 23-Oct-18 23:14:23

They are currently advertising level 5 apprenticeship's at my work - people of all ages are applying.

stressedoutpa Wed 24-Oct-18 18:22:09

No, you're not too old but I would seriously think long and hard about becoming a PA. The market has changed and it is a role which is in much less demand. Add to that, lots of candidates and you have fierce competition for the jobs that are out there with lots of companies asking for a degree level education.

Polarbearflavour Thu 25-Oct-18 18:37:35

I agree 100% with stressedoutpa!

There are still PA jobs around at the moment but my local council (like all of them!) is short of millions of pounds and several secretarial jobs have been chopped. There are definitely fewer PA jobs around than even 5 years ago.

Some large financial firms are outsourcing PAs to Poland and SE Asia. Something to be aware of...

daisychain01 Fri 26-Oct-18 06:18:17

Re PA roles: In public sector (UK) many of those roles originated from secretary, administrator, office assistant etc and have now morphed into a role spec such as associate project manager. Skills are transferable from the traditional roles (eg organisational skills, booking meetings, taking minutes often now called 'meeting outcomes'), with some interesting extended skills such research,ing, inputting into project schedules ie doing the legwork collecting people's updates, adding new tasks etc.

It can be an exciting time for people who want to move from run of the mill administration into project activities. In my organisation, I really value those people, they hold it all together!

SassyS89 Thu 01-Nov-18 20:06:46

I have found out that I have got through to the screening stage which I am excited about. Does anyone have any ideas on what the screening process could entail?

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