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    • cwhaley1
    • By cwhaley1 11th Oct 18, 10:11 AM
    • 20Posts
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    cwhaley1
    From office to apprenticeship
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 18, 10:11 AM
    From office to apprenticeship 11th Oct 18 at 10:11 AM
    I currently work at the HQ of a large UK retailer. I have been here nearly 5 years and I'm at the point where I'm seriously doubting whether I want to continue my career in an office. I've done well enough here, my job is safe and it pays the bills and mortgage, but I am not happy and I am not enjoying it. I am worried I am venturing into a career I don't really want.

    I enjoy manual work and my weekends and evenings are filled with work on the house which I have grown talent in. I haven't any qualifications in manually-skilled work and everything I have done is through learning and experience.

    Can anyone help with advice on where I could start if I wanted to move my career in this direction? I've looked at apprenticeships and they really appeal to me but from what I gather they're aimed at school leavers (I am 27) and the pay is poor.

    What can I do?
Page 1
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 11th Oct 18, 2:14 PM
    • 21,711 Posts
    • 17,584 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 18, 2:14 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 18, 2:14 PM
    An apprenticeship is probably the best way if you can get one, but you do face two problems. First, many employers will give preference to younger people because it costs them less. The second, which is related, is that in the first year you might be paid as little as £3.70 an hour, so you'd have a tough first year. After that you'd at least get national minimum wage, although that might still be a cut from what you're on now.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 11th Oct 18, 2:37 PM
    • 3,154 Posts
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    ReadingTim
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 18, 2:37 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 18, 2:37 PM
    Re-starting a career in any new field is likely to result in a pay cut, especially a field where there are (effectively) no entrance requirements - apprenticeships, by their very nature, are aimed at unskilled school leavers.

    Part of growing up and becoming a proper adult is the realisation that we're not all going to do a dream job that we love, nor are we all destined to be rocket scientists or brain surgeons. Many people do average jobs that they don't particularly like because they pay the bills and leave enough left over to do what we really want to do at the weekends and pay for holidays etc.

    Welcome to real life kiddo.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Oct 18, 3:01 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 18, 3:01 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 18, 3:01 PM
    Sorry to be blunt, but you have massive debt and financial responsibilities. You can't afford to start out again, or to take risks with your income. If you feel that you need more of a challenge, then you really need to concentrate on opportunities in your existing line of work where there may be promotion prospects.
    • pink_pirlie
    • By pink_pirlie 11th Oct 18, 3:29 PM
    • 195 Posts
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    pink_pirlie
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 18, 3:29 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 18, 3:29 PM
    Sorry to be blunt, but you have massive debt and financial responsibilities. You can't afford to start out again, or to take risks with your income. If you feel that you need more of a challenge, then you really need to concentrate on opportunities in your existing line of work where there may be promotion prospects.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    I don't think the situation is that pessimistic.

    I know loads of people, including me, who embarked on new careers in their late 20s and early 30s, even older.

    I took 2 years out to travel at 30 when I became disillusioned with my job. On returning I took a 40% paycut from my previous role to join a graduate scheme in a different field 12 years after graduating. I had a mortgage and commitments and I have not looked back.
    I recently interviewed for an apprentice in my team and we took on a 28 yo who was looking for a career change over school leavers.

    There are opportunities out there. Start looking but don't quit until you have the right job. come up with a plan on how you will succeed and manage with the lower pay. start saving now and maybe try living on the smaller wage for a while - see how possible it is.

    Good luck!

    I wish I had made the leap sooner. I thought about it for years before I felt confident enough to jump ship.
    • Ja7188
    • By Ja7188 11th Oct 18, 6:55 PM
    • 221 Posts
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    Ja7188
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 18, 6:55 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 18, 6:55 PM
    Not sure what you mean by "manual work" but if you're into being creative (i.e. pottery, painting etc.) then why not try looking for local exhibitions where you could sell your work at evenings and weekends to test the water? This would allow you to get more of a view as to what you might be able to earn if you were to make the leap full-time...

    Also depending on what you mean by manual work, perhaps your current employer has decorating/ fitting roles in their stores which might be a better fit?
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 11th Oct 18, 7:04 PM
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    sangie595
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 18, 7:04 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 18, 7:04 PM
    I don't think the situation is that pessimistic. .
    Originally posted by pink_pirlie
    Yes. But did any of you also have £20k of debt on top of the mortgage, bills and day to day expenses? Because the OP has! I was responding not to the theory, but the actual facts - the OP is already in financial trouble and taking an intentional pay cut is not really wise.
    • walshie123
    • By walshie123 11th Oct 18, 9:58 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    walshie123
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:58 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Oct 18, 9:58 PM
    ive had 4 apprentices (building trade). I would now only ever consider an older apprentice as they are sure they want to do it, have common sense, driving license, generally more punctual and far better at talking to customers. the company I worked for paid the first 2 apprentices who were 16 y/o like £4 per hour but the 2 later apprentices who were older got paid £10 per hour. you could get yourself into a company labouring and see if they would be willing to put you through college?
    • walwyn1978
    • By walwyn1978 12th Oct 18, 3:44 PM
    • 542 Posts
    • 522 Thanks
    walwyn1978
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 3:44 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 18, 3:44 PM
    I work for a regional training provider. We have people of all ages on our apprenticeship programmes. As regards wages, if your employer wants to pay you a standard salary not an apprentice salary they are able to do so...
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 12th Oct 18, 3:52 PM
    • 3,154 Posts
    • 4,698 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    I work for a regional training provider. We have people of all ages on our apprenticeship programmes. As regards wages, if your employer wants to pay you a standard salary not an apprentice salary they are able to do so...
    Originally posted by walwyn1978
    Perhaps, given your expertise in this area, you could tell us how many employers voluntarily chose to pay apprentices more than they legally have to, because it's my suspicion that it ain't many.

    I'd love to be proved wrong, but I suspect I won't be.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 18, 4:49 PM
    • 5,702 Posts
    • 9,946 Thanks
    sangie595
    Perhaps, given your expertise in this area, you could tell us how many employers voluntarily chose to pay apprentices more than they legally have to, because it's my suspicion that it ain't many.

    I'd love to be proved wrong, but I suspect I won't be.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    We do. We pay the Living Wage. The real one not the rebadged NMW.

    Although I do get your point! Many public sector organisations pay higher, but you'll search a long way to find apprenticeships in manual trades as most direct services were privitised in the past, so few agencies have manual trades left.
    • walwyn1978
    • By walwyn1978 12th Oct 18, 8:15 PM
    • 542 Posts
    • 522 Thanks
    walwyn1978
    Perhaps, given your expertise in this area, you could tell us how many employers voluntarily chose to pay apprentices more than they legally have to, because it's my suspicion that it ain't many.

    I'd love to be proved wrong, but I suspect I won't be.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    It tends to break down as: the ones fresh out of school and college are usually taken on as apprentices on an apprentice wage. The older ones (post 25) tend to be on a Ďnormalí wage albeit you are correct some employers regard it purely as cheap labour and will take an apprentice on, pay them buttons, wait the 18 months/2 years til they complete their qualifications, make redundant, take on a new apprentice on buttons and start the cycle again. We try not to work with employers like that, however some of our competitors arenít so picky....

    I donít know the exact stats because itís not in the public domain. But your basic premise - I youíre on an apprenticeship you wonít take home loads - is correct in that only when you get up to the Level 4 and 5 stuff, where you are already in a more senior position within the organisation anyway, would your wages have progressed much beyond NLW or similar. But it doesnít follow that you automatically do an apprenticeship on sub £4 p/h.
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