Dan King

Trouble getting an apprenticeship

Posted: 13/03/13 by Dan King

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Hi, I am having trouble finding a company who will take me on as an apprentice. Last year I decided to change my career and have been studying a level 3 marine engineering and access to HE engineering maths this academic year. I have applied for some apprentice schemes but have been turned down. One was for a L4 higher apprenticeship. They said I was over qualified already. Mostly, I think it due to being aged 32 and the lack of funding companies miss out on if they take me over a younger candidate. One company actually told me i was too old for them even though apprenticeships should have no upper age limit i think. Can you give me any advice regarding how to persuade or go about approaching companies about taking on an apprentice and any info that I could use regarding funding for someone my age. I would really like to go the HNC higher apprentice route if possible but again many companies don't even offer this option. Any idea would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance, Dan.

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  • NGtU Career Advisor

    Hi Dan

    The main problem with apprenticeships is that given your age the employer would not receive any contribution from the government towards the cost of your training. Apprenticeships are technically open to people of any age but employers are free to apply their own criteria in selecting candidates. That being said, the companies who have rejected you are probably breaking the law on age discrimination.

    Have you considered going for a sponsored or foundation degree? We have one in marine engineering in our Jobs & Courses section at present.

    Here is the link to the training company’s web site:

    It seems that they are holding careers fairs (‘Futurers Fest’ ) in Glasgow on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. See the ‘Events’ box on their site. If you could get there I’m sure you would get some very useful advice.

    There are a number of academic institutions which provide these Foundation Degrees in partnership with employers. Take a look at the details of this course at South Tyneside College as an example:

    You can find details of other courses/employers/training providers here:

    Kind Regards

    Notgoingtouni careers adviser

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  • Dan King

    Thanks for the reply Chris,

    I actually applied and got accepted last year on a sponsored degree for the merchant navy. Unfortunately going to sea for 3 months at a time and being away from home to study isn't an ideal situation for me and my wife.

    I'll just keep plugging away at the companies. I might have to fund myself through the course i guess whilst working in the industry.

    Thanks again,


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  • NGtU Career Advisor

    Ah right I see. You might be interested in career development loans in that case:



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