More than three-quarters of Scottish people mistakenly believe apprenticeships are only for school leavers, according to new research.
The independent national survey conducted by Scottish Gas has revealed that 85 per cent of people in Scotland looking to change careers could be limiting their options by assuming that training is not suitable for people of all ages.
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The report also found that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents believe they are too old for an apprenticeship.
John Lochrie, former Scottish Gas apprentice and now Operations Director for HomeCare Services at Scottish Gas, commented: “It’s clear from our research that while many people see the value in apprenticeships, they don’t necessarily realise that the training is suitable for everyone of working age – whether that’s a teenage school leaver, a mum wanting to earn while she learns, or someone looking to retrain for a new career later in life. People in Scotland may be limiting their options and not exploring an apprenticeship as a legitimate career route.
“At Scottish Gas, our apprentices come from all walks of life. Almost a third of them are over the age of 30, and many are career-changers.
“I’d encourage people to shake off the old stereotypes and consider undertaking a modern apprenticeship no matter how old they are. We welcome everyone into the programme and are proud to be an inclusive employer.”
Only 3 per cent of Scots surveyed thought you could undertake an apprenticeship in your 30s. In fact, almost a third (30 per cent) of current Scottish Gas apprentices are over that age.
Whilst the research highlights out-of-date views as to who can enrol for an apprenticeship, it is clear that people recognise its value. A fifth (19 per cent) of people said that if they had their time again they would definitely do an apprenticeship, whilst a further third said they would seriously consider it.
Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of those surveyed recognised that an apprenticeship was a great way to start a successful career. 83 per cent of those surveyed appreciated that the main benefit of doing an apprenticeship is learning new skills. More than half (52 per cent) highlighted that the main plus point is learning by doing, rather than from a book.
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week (29th February to 4th March), the organisation is encouraging people of all ages to consider an alternative career routes during as a route to a fulfilling career during.
Scottish Gas is also aiming to redefine people’s views of apprenticeships by opening the doors of its Hamilton Academy to give people the chance to find out what a modern apprenticeship really involves.
The firm has hundreds of apprentices in Scotland, investing around £30,000 for each apprentice it trains. The business also has a 95 per cent retention rate for apprentices and is rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.