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Apprenticeship Completion: Age Matters or Myth?

Explore the truth behind the completion rates of apprenticeships in our latest blog post! Challenge common beliefs and gain valuable insights into the factors that impact success.

Old and young apprentices working together
Are older apprentices more likely to complete than their younger peers?


Apprenticeships have emerged as a popular avenue for individuals to gain valuable skills and experience across various industries. From fresh-faced school leavers to career changers, apprenticeships cater to individuals of all ages. However, a prevailing belief persists that older apprentices have higher completion rates compared to their younger counterparts. In this blog post, we will delve into this notion and explore whether it holds true.

Defining "Older Apprentices"

Before delving deeper, it is crucial to establish the parameters of "older apprentices." In the UK, individuals aged 19 or above at the start of their apprenticeship are categorized as adult apprentices, although this definition may differ across countries.

Research has unearthed compelling evidence indicating that completion rates for adult apprentices are indeed higher than those for their younger counterparts. According to the UK government's 2019/20 Apprenticeship Statistical Release, the overall apprenticeship completion rate stood at 65.6%, while adult apprentices achieved a commendable 75.2%. These statistics lend credence to the perception that older apprentices exhibit a greater likelihood of successfully completing their apprenticeships.

Factors Contributing to Higher Completion Rates

Several factors can account for this disparity. Firstly, older apprentices often possess prior workplace experience, fostering a heightened commitment to the completion of their apprenticeships. Moreover, they may have a better understanding of the extensive benefits that apprenticeships offer, including improved job prospects and earning potential.

Secondly, older apprentices frequently enjoy more stability in their personal lives, enabling them to devote more attention to their apprenticeships. Younger apprentices, on the other hand, may contend with family responsibilities, social commitments, or exam preparation, which can pose challenges to their completion journey.

Industry and Apprenticeship Type Variations

While completion rates for older apprentices generally surpass those of their younger peers, it is vital to acknowledge that industry and apprenticeship type can influence these rates. Notably, apprenticeships in the construction sector exhibit lower completion rates compared to those in health and social care. Furthermore, the level of apprenticeship also plays a role, with higher-level apprenticeships typically witnessing lower completion rates than their lower-level counterparts.

In Summary

In conclusion, while research indicates that older apprentices tend to outperform their younger counterparts in terms of completion rates, it is crucial to consider the individual circumstances of each apprentice. Completion rates can fluctuate based on industry, apprenticeship type, and personal circumstances. Ultimately, the true determinants of success in any apprenticeship lie in commitment, dedication, and hard work.


To learn more about the fascinating world of apprenticeships and explore how Rubitek can support your apprenticeship programs, get in touch with us today.

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