The Adult Apprentice

The stories featured in this publication are based on in-depth interviews with ten adult apprentices (aged 19+) nominated in the Apprentice of the Year category of the 2012 Adult Learners’ Week awards.

Each case study is an inspirational story of what being an apprentice can mean. As well as supporting people to be more productive and effective in their jobs, the overwhelming benefit of being an apprentice is seen to be the improvements in their self-esteem, confidence and sense of being able to contribute at work, to their family and their communities. This is not surprising, because they are common outcomes of all kinds of learning: good learning gives people a chance to shine, shows their talents, develops a better understanding of the world they live in, helps them be more resilient to change and helps them shape their own future.

We believe that the most powerful advocates for effective learning and support in an apprenticeship are the apprentices themselves; the stories included here demonstrate this. We hope that these stories will encourage and inspire other adult apprentices, and will enable employers, providers and policy-makers to gain a deeper understanding of adult apprentices’ experiences and needs.