How old is too old for a career change?
smithyca · 13/04/2021 19:35
After being made redundant due to covid I now face the prospect of job hunting. I've done low skilled jobs all my life and have no career as such. After talking to my work coach and expressing my regret at not taking my career more seriously she suggested retraining and maybe starting an apprenticeship. I've always thought they were for school leavers but since she's mentioned it I can't stop thinking about taking the chance and going for it. So my question is AIBU to think at the age of 38 I can retrain and start an apprenticeship or are they for the kids? Has anyone done an apprenticeship later in life or knows someone and from an employer's point of view am I too old?
Ginuwine · 13/04/2021 19:40
What are you hoping to retrain as please? You might get better qualified answers if you can provide that detail.
BalladOfBarryAndFreda · 13/04/2021 19:48
38 is not too late to retrain. Lots of people have 2 or 3 careers over their working lifetime these days. Some careers are easier to get into as a 2nd career and some apprenticeship programmes are only open to 16-24 age groups (I think there’s some government funding linked to NEETS), so that’s worth bearing in mind when you’re thinking about opportunities.
DandelionSprout · 13/04/2021 19:48
My experience has been that it’s easy to get accepted onto a course. You feel all positive about moving forward and starting fresh. Then employers go “nope, you’re too old to be a trainee”. In most companies the trainees are 20-something, very low paid because they don’t have financial commitments, and very flexible because they have no personal commitments. An older person isn’t as flexible, they have more time pressures and more bills to pay. Not saying it can’t be done, but why would someone hire you when they can hire a cheap and cheerful 23 year old? The best approach to getting a job is either to retrain for a public sector position or for something where you can be self employed.
Scottishshopaholic · 13/04/2021 19:51
I’d say it all depends on your situation and if you really need to, and it sounds like you need to.
However I started my apprenticeship in 2019 and there was loads of guys in their 40s and a few in their 50s. The ones that I have kept in touch with all seem to be doing well, but i would say they get overlooked for progressing up the ladder because they are closer to retirement.
smithyca · 13/04/2021 19:55
Sorry @Ginuwine I forgot that part! I'm hoping to either do a HR or business admin apprenticeship but those are the two that have jumped out at me so far.
Thanks for all your replies, I do have good GCSEs and A levels, all grade A apart from one B. My intention was always to go to uni but I fell pregnant at a young age and life got in the way so I picked up whatever jobs I could to support my kids.
It's good to know that others have done it and it is possible. I'm definitely going to look into it more and give my work coach a call back tomorrow.
OverTheRubicon · 13/04/2021 20:19
HR is better than business admin - the number of admin jobs is shrinking drastically with technology, and you'll be up against others who are either more experienced or cheaper/more flexible/younger. HR is still more in demand, and your life experience can be worth something too.
Namenic · 13/04/2021 20:20
There is business analysis also - I believe the British computing society do a diploma for business analysis. Someone at my company retrained - I think in her 40s (after her kids have grown up) and has completed her apprenticeship.
I think business analysts gather requirements from customers (can be internal customers) and analyse the impact of changes to an organisation. I work at a tech firm and there are quite a few BAs.
MrTumbleTumble · 13/04/2021 20:26
Have you thought about NVQs rather than apprenticeships? You can often do them in evenings / at weekends and unrelated to your job so potentially you could get a new job and do an NVQ on top. Then you'd be on at least NMW rather than an apprenticeship wage.
CIPD is the HR qualification, I don't know if they are NVQs but you can definitely study part time for them.
Tottington · 13/04/2021 20:29
Never too old!
My dad was made redundant at 55 from a career he'd had since graduating uni at 21. He retrained as a forklift truck driver, got a warehouse job, did some maternity cover in the admin offices, they offered to train him in their logistics department at around 58. He retired at 67.
A friend started an apprenticeship after splitting up from her husband at 45. She's now doing the degree course and will qualify at 52.
Just do it!
smithyca · 13/04/2021 20:30
Thanks everyone! Seems like it's not such a crazy idea after all. I have had a bit of experience with HR, I went on a job swap in my old company to get a taste of it but sadly they decided to reduce the number of people working in HR so nothing came of it and I went back to my department.
As I've said I've only been looking into it today so I've got plenty of avenues to explore. I want to make sure I get it right and don't just jump into the first one I like the sound of.
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