National Apprenticeship Week: The 55-year-old proving age is no barrier

Peter Beardall, 55, is an apprentice for housing association L&Q. He is picture in the carpentry wor

Peter Beardall, 55, is an apprentice for housing association L&Q. He is picture in the carpentry worksho he first studied in 40 years ago. - Credit: Barking and Dagenahm College

Many people think of a young school leaver when they think of an apprentice - but Peter Beardall doesn’t fall into that stereotype.

Peter Beardall, 55, is using the scheme to improve his skills, rather get started in a brand-new career.

Peter works for housing association L&Q. At the association the average apprentice age is 45.

The 16 L&Q apprentices are all taking part via Barking and Dagenham College.

Peter first step foot in the college 40 years ago to study carpentry.


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He said: “I’m going to be 56 soon, so this training will be useful for me both in the workplace and if things go wrong at home! It also means that I can keep myself active when I retire.

“I think everyone should give it a go. You are never too old to learn new things, and it can only be beneficial.”

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Of the apprentices at the college, roughly a quarter, 143, are over 25. This is when, prior to 2017, all below that age.

The college says the increase is down to government policy.

The Aprenticeship Levy requires businesses with annual wage bills of £3m or more to pay 0.5% of their payroll cost into a training fund.They then use that fund to train staff.

Government also scrapped the maximum age of 24 for apprentices in 2017.

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