Most people, at some stage in their careers, question whether they’ve made the right career choice.
Statistically speaking, almost everyone will change jobs several times throughout their entire careers.
Long gone are the days of getting a job straight out of school and staying there until you retire — this is where a mature age apprenticeship can help.
Changing careers entirely is something that needs to be seriously considered before taking the plunge. However, once you’ve weighed it all up and the pros are in your favour, the change is so liberating.
Here is everything you need to know before beginning a mature age apprenticeship.
If your career involves sitting behind a desk, you’ve probably contemplated doing something with your hands, while those with outdoor careers will have thought that a career in an office sounds appealing.
One option for office workers looking to change careers is to pursue a mature age or adult apprenticeship.
Plenty of people begin adult apprenticeships later in life and this can be especially true for apprenticeships in the building and construction industry, as well as industries like hairdressing (mature age apprenticeships aren’t just for building trades!).
What is the Age of a Mature Age Apprentice? Can Adults Undertake an Apprenticeship?
An adult apprentice, otherwise known as a mature age apprentice, is an apprentice who begins an apprenticeship at 21 years of age or older. You can undertake a range of different Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
How Much Does a Mature Age Apprentice Earn?
If you’re currently employed, chances are you will have to accept that you’re probably not going to be as well paid in the short term. How much you earn as a first year apprentice will depend on the trade and which state you live in. However, most apprentices make around minimum wage, which may be tough for those who already have existing financial commitments. You will need to calculate carefully how you or your family might be affected by earning less money for several years, and if it is sustainable.
Average Apprentice Wage for Trades (First Year)
Average Adult Average Apprentice Wage for Trades (First Year)
It Could Take a While to Complete
Apprenticeships usually take between 3-4 years to complete, which is a combination of on the job training and classroom studies. Any new apprentice, not just mature aged apprentices, need to ask themselves it they are willing to put themselves through a lengthy training process. it’s also worth considering which type of course is the best for you, depending on the level qualification you’re after. The reward is a nationally recognised qualification that has the potential to turn into a rewarding and lucrative career.
As an Adult Apprentice, you can negotiate with you employer an individual training program that could cut the length of time it takes to be qualified. Depending on the industry and the training requirements, employers and Adult Apprentices can discuss with a training provider how the relevant training can be delivered in a shorter time period, while still meeting educational goals and the needs of the industry. Also, if you already have skills from your previous employment that are transferrable, you may be entitled to Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) credit, resulting in a shorter training period to become a qualified tradesman.
Learn more about Apprenticeships and Traineeships here.
You May Have to Swallow Your Pride
As an Adult Apprentice, there is a good chance you will be taking your instructions from someone younger than you. For some this may be hard to take, while it could also prove uncomfortable for the younger person giving orders to an older employee. Depending on the trade, you may be asked to complete tasks that you haven’t considered that may be beneath what you’ve experienced in the past. Menial tasks are part and parcel of an apprenticeship, particular in the early years, and being asked to complete tasks by someone younger can be a dent to the pride for some. However, adult apprentices tend to be more mature, so in most instances this isn’t a problem given the reasons for starting the apprenticeship in the first place.
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You Can be an Asset to the Business
Because you have life experiences, a certain level of maturity and professional skills from past employment, a prospective employer may see you as an asset to the company. You could be given tasks and responsibilities younger apprentices wouldn’t be trusted with, accelerating your rate of learning.
Mature age apprentices tend to be more stable in their private lives, and have been through the challenges that 16-20 year olds face. While a younger apprentice make take some time to become accustomed to a work environment, an Adult Apprentice can hit the ground running and be productive immediately.
Qualities of a Mature Age Apprentice
More Life Experience
As a mature age apprentice (depending on how old you are), you generally will have more life experience under your belt compared to your younger counterparts. Employers seek apprentices who have the ability to take on constructive criticism, take on instructions well and are easy to work with. As adult workers have more life experience, employers generally believe that they are easier to train as they have better life experience.
A Great Attitude
A reliable, positive attitude is highly sought after within any apprentice, and employers within these industry areas generally believe that mature age apprentices typically possess these kinds of qualities.
This is definitely not to say that younger apprentices are lacking passion – it is not always the case! However, many apprentices have actually taken a break from their course as they have struggled to concentrate on their studies and returned as a mature age student to finish off their course and gain their qualification. There is more certainty in mature age apprentices,
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When considering applying for an apprenticeship as an adult, you need to consider the consequences, particular if you have family and financial commitments. If you’ve simply had a bad day at the office, it might be best to give it some time before making any substantial career change decisions.
However, if you’re mind is made up, and you’ve given it the serious consideration such a decision deserves, then an Adult Apprenticeship may provide you and your family with the long term financial security you’re longing for, not to mention your own personal career satisfaction. If you’re confident in your decision to begin an apprenticeship, it’s handy to know where to look for one.
This article covers the ins and outs of how to find the perfect apprenticeship for you.
This guide is your go-to source for information on the Australian building and construction industry. Learn all the steps you need to take to start your own trade apprenticeship.
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