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To old for apprenticeship?

  • 09-09-2023 2:18pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,790 ✭✭✭

    Hi all.

    I'm looking for a change in career.

    Currently a warehouse manager the last 3 years.

    I've worked in this company the last 12 years and I feel its time to move on.

    I've been applying for apprenticeships the past year and have had no success in reaching even an interview stage, half the time I get no reply at all.

    I'm interested in plumbing as my current job is closely related. I've also applied for mechanic apprenticeships as I've a big interest in cars.

    I'm 30years old but feel like this is holding me back which is kind of crazy to think as its still young but anyone I've spoked to says there looking for school leavers and 18 year old.

    Am I mad thinking this, I was told people are crying out for apprentices cause trades people were in such demand


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,941 ✭✭✭Rows Grower

    You are dead right to change career if you're not content and 30 is still a very young age to start an apprenticeship. You'll be a fully qualified at tradesperson at 34 with the added bonus of having your previous work and life experience.

    You've got to keep sending out the applications as it is literally only a matter of time until the employer that sees the advantages you have over others comes alonga and snaps you up. I have two friends that started apprenticeships when they were in their mid thirties and are now doing very well for themselves and are great employers.

    Do not give up even if it takes another 5 years. (which it won't).

    "Very soon we are going to Mars. You wouldn't have been going to Mars if my opponent won, that I can tell you. You wouldn't even be thinking about it."

    Donald Trump, March 13th 2018.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,326 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    Apprentices need to listen and learn, it is a form of education rather than a job.

    Older people with experience are less likely to listen and learn. They may feel they already know certain things and are more likely to be vocal about the things they think they already know.

    Many tradesmen don't want to spend time trying to educate somebody who is going to fight back at them every step of the way, far better to get somebody young without preconceived notions in their heads.

    There is also the simple fact that an older person is less likely to stick with the low apprentices rates for long. You will train them for 6 months then a paying job will come along and they will take it for the money, rendering the past 6 months a waste of time.

    Rightly or wrongly, that is why people tend to avoid older apprentices.

    Would I hire a 30 year old former manager as an apprentice in our garage? No, because I don't think that candidate will complete the apprenticeship, and even if they did I don't think they would remain with us past their apprenticeship.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,620 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Well they'd want to make up their mind. I know a few builders through family and they're constantly complaining they can't gat school leavers to sign up to be apprentices. Even going into schools isn't helping. School leavers simply don't want to go into it so it seems the only option is to hire people in their 30's and if they don't want them I've no sympathy if in a few years they've nobody.

  • Registered Users Posts: 964 ✭✭✭eurokev

    Completely disagree with this.

    I began my apprenticeship just shy of 29, and had come from retail management.

    From my experience I gave myself othe best chance of getting an apprenticeship and showed prospective employers how serious I was, by taking night courses prior to any of this.

    Actually I kind of got my apprenticeship through a contact in the night course I was doing.

    No employer is going to think you are not serious about something if you are actively trying to learn the trade off your own back and in your own time.

    Also, again from my experience, most employers are delighted to get a more mature apprentice. In fact they're more likely to see it out, as they have a better realization as to the importance of completing it.

    Make sure you have a chunk saved up to get you through the first year.

    When I was doing my apprenticeship the rates in second year were good enough and I could do foxers aswell. I found that I was pretty well off financially from mid way through second year.

    Being older you also know how to manage your finances unlike some young fella who is pocketing a grand a week and sticking a good chunk of it down his throat or up his nose. The guys that didn't make it, were these types of young lads when I was going through my apprenticeship

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,326 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    Who is they? I speak for me and nobody else, but I do hire a lot of apprentices.

    It may be a battle to get school leavers, but that is still a better route than taking people who are extremely unlikely to actually serve the time.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,839 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    OP start working your network.

    Don't bother with sending applications in cold. Total waste of time for anyone non traditional.

    Instead talk to people who's companies hire apprentices and let them know you're interested- and want to learn. Ask then to help you approach the right person, the right way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,620 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    The ones I know personally who are complaining they cant get school leavers to sign up plus the ones who are on the radio every few months complaining they cant get school leavers to sign up. My recent ex is a school teacher and said every year very little if any want to sign up after they leave. If you cant get school leavers so what's the alternative?. To say people over 30 are less likely to listen and learn is a very broad statement. I'm sure there is plenty out there that age who are more than willing given the chance. Wasn't there a guy on here a few months ago started a machanic apprenticeship is his mid 40's and said it was going very well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,326 ✭✭✭✭bucketybuck

    The OP asked about apprenticeships as an adult. As somebody who has hired dozens of apprentices I told him my thoughts on hiring older people as apprentices, with the aim that he might tailor his approach now that he knows what the hiring person could well be thinking.

    I don't know what your ex has to do with it quite frankly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭mariaalice

    The op sounds a bit passive, they need to hustle a bit, use contacts, go and talk to an employers directly,

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Fi5ty

    34 year old apprentice plumber here. Just entering my second year in.

    never too old. That’s the first thing. For anything in life for that matter. Loose that too late mind frame is my first piece of advice.

    you’ll find an apprenticeship a lot faster by face to face. I got mine by approaching my new boss at a coffee dock when I saw his van. Another thing you could do is hang out at a supply store and chat to plumbers going in to get materials. They’ll see your serious about it. No one who’s on the fence would go to this length to get a start.

    most lads I know would rather take on older lads instead of younger for many reasons. Most young lads are emigrating now when they finish also. Older lads are usually more settled and less likely to call in sick on Mondays if you know what I mean

    the rates are shite at the start but when you hit year 2 youll get a bump and you’ll be well able to get into your nixers also. I have no extra help financially and I just pushed through the first year and now in second year it’s a bit easier. Year 3/4 will be a breeze now.

    my advice would be just go for it. There’s always gonna be those mundane monotonous jobs available to fall back on in worst case scenario, but this is something you can do to make a real difference in your life.

    just get your start and put the work in. You’ll be grand

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,790 ✭✭✭2Mad2BeMad

    Just to update,

    Still actively looking for one,

    I took next week off work so I could physically visit and ring a few places to talk to people to try get an apprenticeship.

    Tried ringing a couple of Saturdays but no one wants to talk on the weekends there off which is fair enough haha

    Honestly it's the only time I've had to try, since last September it's been mostly applying online but I'm getting no where with that so I've given up on that end.

    I have a few contacts in my current job who are plumbers so I'm going to ask them too next time there in, only reason I have not asked yet is because I don't want my current boss finding out I'm looking to leave, might sour things. Would rather wait until I've secured something. But if I dont ask il they'll never know.

    Really appreciate all the advice above. Making it my mission to get an apprenticeship this year

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭lmk123

    Go for it, I was on the verge of doing it 5 years ago (when I was 30) but decided to sort out a house first, then Covid came and have children now so won’t ever happen for me, one of the biggest regrets I have, I’d still love to but realistically the chance is gone, there will always be a reason not to and as you get older there will only be more reasons