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Should I do an apprenticeship at 31 or am I too old?

(10 Posts)
Missfloweryname Wed 22-Jan-20 12:53:04

Hi, I am just looking for a bit of advice really... I am currently a stay at home mum since having my second child and my youngest will be at school full time in September. Once he is I want to go back to work. However before having children I worked in an office which was fine but a bit boring to be honest as it was mainly data entry/answering customers questions etc. If possible I would like to do a course or train to do something. I have thought about it a lot and I am quite interested in becoming a dental nurse. The question is I will be 31 when I am able to start... I don't think there is an age limit for doing an apprenticeship but realistically would anyone take me on or would they prefer a school leaver? I don't want to get my hopes up if I have no real chance of doing it....

OP’s posts: |
maxelly Wed 22-Jan-20 13:06:55

Absolutely not too old - at 31 you have a huge amount of your working life before you and it's definitely far too early to resign yourself to a life of boring/poorly paid low skill work. Technically speaking any discrimination on the grounds of age is illegal anyway, but subjectively speaking I would say if anything employers would probably prefer someone of your kind of age to a school leaver as you'll likely be perceived as more mature, reliable, have life experience etc. So I wouldn't worry about that at all...

I don't know anything about being a dental nurse, how competitive it is to get an apprenticeship etc. and what the entry requirements are, but it will never hurt to try and get some work experience to start off with - why not make the rounds of your local dental practices and see if any of them would let you do a few hours shadowing so you can get a feel for what the job is really like and have something to talk about at interviews (even if they aren't happy to have you sit in on actual appointments perhaps you could help man reception and chat to some of the nurses/dentists about the job, what training is like, how you can put yourself in the best position to get an apprenticeship etc?)

Good luck!

Missfloweryname Wed 22-Jan-20 13:21:14

Thank you so much! That is really positive and helpful advice. That's what I have been thinking too... Even at 31 that's still 30+ years of work ahead of me!

OP’s posts: |
Theresa17 Thu 23-Jan-20 19:48:00

Absolutely agree with maxelly's advice! You are definitely not too old and what a brilliant example to set for your kids.
The work shadowing would be excellent. It will help you to check if it really is for you or not and you can get some first hand feedback. It will look great on future applications and it is not unusual for work experience / shadowing to lead to apprenticeships / jobs as it is a great way for the employer to get to know you.
You can also have a look at
It's the governments apprenticeship vacancies service. Not overly exciting but pretty well used and you can get an idea of what different employers might look for. When you are ready to apply and in case you have not already found something via the shadowing etc. you can sign up for a free account and apply through the site too.
Good luck!

Tealnotbluemum Thu 23-Jan-20 20:12:59

I know a bit about dental nursing. It's not hard to learn and you can do it on the job. Look out for dental practices offering a trainee nurse position. The money won't be great (nor will it ever be, the top private practice in Bristol where I worked only paid £15 per hour for their head nurse.) However you could then go on to be a practice manager or a treatment coordinator or a hygienist (with further training.)
Good luck! You're never too old!

Henryloveseatinglego Thu 23-Jan-20 22:48:42

After doing a five year apprenticeship in the 80's I think that's enough most of my qualification don't apply anymore and looking for work I'm basically unqualified my only option is another apprenticeship in my late 50's or back to university for a three year degree . then no guarantees of a job at the end and on £20k experience counts for nothing

notacooldad Thu 23-Jan-20 22:58:53

A member of our team has got a social work apprentice a few months ago. She is 46.
So you are not too old.

cowfacemonkey Thu 23-Jan-20 23:01:58

Go for it! I retrained (not apprenticeship though) when I was 37. I'm 43 now and it has made a huge difference to my life.

HarrietOh Thu 23-Jan-20 23:03:22

Universities do degree apprenticeships now and the students are mostly older adults!

cowfacemonkey Thu 23-Jan-20 23:06:41

You might find more career/money scope in a degree apprenticeship

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