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Too Old To Learn A Trade?

Trainer reading notes on a ground source heat pump alongside text reading "are you ever too old to learn a trade?"

Are you ever too old to learn a trade?

People of all backgrounds, experience levels, and ages enquire and enrol on our training courses, but there is one question we hear more than most. “Am I too old to learn a trade?” The simple answer is “no!”

We’ve all uttered the words “every day’s a school day” and “you learn something new every day” at some point, but have we followed them up with an age limit? Probably not. So why are we limiting ourselves when it comes to changing careers?

Job For Life

Leave school, find a career path and stick with it. Essentially, find a job for life. That’s what society once expected of us. But what happens if the career we once loved isn’t for us anymore? Do we stick with it for stability or pursue our passion?

What happens if the dream career we spent years working towards now fills us with dread? Do we carry on due to the time we’ve invested or start again with something new? Considering how much of our lives we spend at work, it’s essential we’re happy with what we’re doing.

Thankfully, attitudes have changed considerably and changing careers later in life is becoming more common. 

Trainee electrician working on a lighting fixture in the Options Skill workshop

Age Barriers

A recent poll on Twitter asked tradespeople what age they were when they joined the industry.

We found that most participants entered the trades between 16 and 24. However, a few people were even younger when they first started learning the ropes alongside their dads. Still in the trades today, those tradespeople are as happy with their career choice as when they started.

However, as it’s becoming more and more common for people to change their careers later in life, the trades industry is seeing an increase in mature learners. No longer is it just 18-24-year-olds attending university and undertaking apprenticeships and training courses.

20% of participants in our poll said they were 25-34 when they joined the trades. In addition, 7% were between the ages of 35 and 44, and 4% were over 45.

Many people learn their trade young, but almost a third of those polled were 25 or over.

At Options Skills, we get hundreds of people each week from all over the UK and even further afield contacting us and looking to become an electrician, gas engineer or upskill within their current trade. In addition, we’re seeing more and more people choosing to learn a trade as mature learners.

Trainee gas engineer reviewing a gas meter in the Options Skills workshop

Why Learn A Trade?

There are several reasons to join the trades:

  • You can work training around existing responsibilities, whether work or family life.
  • In some trades training, you’ll have the opportunity to earn while training, like our NVQ Level 3 Electrical training.
  • You’ll be able to get straight on the tools, and each day will be different both in your training and on the job.
  • You’ll be in an industry that allows you to work on an employed, self-employed or sub-contract basis, which means both flexibility and a high earning potential.
  • Coming from another industry, you can transfer your existing skills to the trades. Whether that’s time management, organisation or even IT skills, you can utilise them to give you a head start in the trades industry.
  • The industry is incredibly supportive, with tradespeople always being on-hand to help and advise those new to the trades.
  • Jobbio found that just 23% of Brits are always happy in their jobs. In comparison, an One4All Rewards survey found that over 50% of trades workers scored their workplace happiness at eight or more out of 10.
  • There’s a demand for high-quality tradespeople, and there’s no reason you can’t be one of them – whether you’re 18, 38 or 58.

Get in touch with Options Skills on 0800 802 1306 today to learn more about our trades training courses. Alternatively, fill in our contact form to request more information.

All data correct at time of publication.