Changing Careers: How to retrain by doing an apprenticeship


If you don’t enjoy your career but don’t know how to go about changing it, you’re definitely not the only one. Research by the London Business School found nearly half of the UK’s working population feel they are stuck in careers they don’t really enjoy and want to change their career path.

The three main reasons people want to change their careers;

  • better salary prospects
  • better work life balance
  • increased job satisfaction

If you’re seeking any of these things then there’s an apprenticeship for you that will lead to a career way more suited to your needs. Retraining with an apprenticeship gives you a guaranteed pathway into that new career.

Can you afford to do an apprenticeship?

The biggest question most people ask when thinking about a career change is ‘can I afford to start again?’ and it’s easy to understand why – we do have bills to pay after all. With an apprenticeship, there is no cost to you for your education but you might earn less than you do now whilst you’re in training. So is it a feasible option for you? Here are some figures to help you decide;

  • Apprenticeships vary in length – some take 1 year, some take 4 years
  • Apprentices earn around £170 a week on average in their first year, however some employers do offer more.
  • The National Minimum Wage for apprentices 19+ and in their first year is £3.90 an hour (many employers pay more than this)
  • After 12 months of your apprenticeship, apprentices aged 19+ must be paid the standard National Minimum Wage
  • Some jobs pay you £25,000 in the first year if you’re studying a Higher Apprenticeship
  • An apprenticeship in Law could see you earning £50,000 per annum on completion
  • Apprentices in Digital Marketing can earn 270% more than university grads over their careers! If you’re looking to retrain in this area, it’s apprenticeships all the way.

So, what’s one year or even four years when it could change the rest of your life? Think about it this way; you might see a few hundred pounds less in your account every month for a short while but does that equate to £40,000 of debt for a degree? If you’re looking to retrain, an apprenticeship is definitely the way to go – no debt and more earning potential in some industries.

What do you risk?

hanging your career path by doing an apprenticeship is arguably the most risk-free way to do it. No other training offers you a guaranteed job in the industry you want to go into and you don’t have to work for free just to gain experience in a different role. If you’re on an apprenticeship for a year, you have 1 year experience in industry. But, if you spend a year on a course, you leave with no experience in industry and maybe less chance of securing your ideal job.

Ask your boss to include it in your development plan

You don’t always have to leave your current job to change your role.

When it comes to CPD, apprenticeships wouldn’t normally spring to mind. However, they’re a fantastic cost-effective way for a business to up-skill existing staff and – providing you’re put onto the right apprenticeship – the business will always see a great return on investment.

With an apprenticeship, you can switch up the direction your career is going in without making a drastic career change. For example, if you’re in a business administration role but you’re also responsible for updating the business’ social media accounts, you could undertake a Digital Marketing Apprenticeship providing your boss is happy for digital marketing to become a bigger part of your role.

Talk to your boss and get an apprenticeship on your progression plan!

Careers you can retrain in

There are hundreds of apprenticeships available. Here’s just a few (including a few surprising ones);

  • Digital marketing
  • Accountancy
  • Leadership & Management
  • Childcare
  • Finance
  • Business Administration
  • HR & Development
  • Nuclear health physics
  • Floristry
  • Customer service
  • Sports Coaching

You can find a full list of the apprenticeship opportunities available to you through the Apprenticeship Guide or alternatively visit our Learner Vacancies . Go and explore what’s out there! Find something you’d really love to do and remember that making some big changes and small adjustments in the short term could lead you to years of fulfilment.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship in Digital Marketing get in touch with