Friday, October 08, 2010

United Kingdom: Rise in "Silver" Apprenticeships

Belying the stereotype that people in later life are reluctant to learn new skills, statistics obtained from the Skills Funding Agency by Age UK and The Age and Employment Network (TAEN) show that the number of people aged 50-plus enrolled in apprenticeship programs has grown to a record number of over 5,000 "silver" apprentices, including over 400 people in their 60s and 13 in their 70s, with the oldest apprentice in the United Kingdom being aged 76.
Research by the former Learning and Skills Council shows most 25-plus workers use apprenticeships to develop their skills under their current employers (50%) or move on to a new job (33%). While no similar figures are available for 50-plus workers, the steep rise in the number of apprentices in this age group during the recession suggests that some 50-plus workers may have opted for apprenticeships to elude unemployment.
This growth was first noted among the 25-plus apprentices which rocketed in 2007-2008 from just 300 to 27,200 after the Government started funding apprenticeships for this age group. Prior to then, only a handful of apprentices over the age of 50 enrolled in early pilot schemes.

Sources: AgeUK News Release (October 6, 2010); Daily Telegraph "Recession sees rise of the 'silver' apprentice" (October 7, 2010)

No comments: