All Age Apprenticeships Launched

New initiative aims to widen access to skilled jobs and build a stronger, more versatile workforce across the economy.

The Department for the Economy (DfE) has announced the introduction of All Age Apprenticeships, which provide opportunities for more people to embark on a career of their choice.

DfE will now fully fund the off-the-job training element of an apprenticeship under the ApprenticeshipsNI programme, regardless of age or sector. This means more career options for people of all ages, supporting inclusion and a culture of lifelong learning. All Age Apprenticeships will increase the labour pool available to employers across the economy and, in doing so, also increase opportunities for a greater range of people.

How apprenticeships can benefit your business

Employers are encouraged to consider how apprenticeships can be central to developing your future talent pipeline, which is essential to long-term growth. There are many benefits to you in employing an apprentice:

  • A more cost-effective way of employing and training new staff.
  • Increased enthusiasm, motivation, and loyalty as your apprentice has sought out this career path.
  • The mixture of on and off-the-job training means your apprentice benefits from experienced staff who know how your business works, while also developing new skills and the latest techniques from qualified trainers by developing your staff to their full potential, to help you realise increased productivity, improved competitiveness, and a competent workforce.
  • Apprentices can help fill skills gaps by developing the specialist skills that you require for your business and can help you and your business keep abreast of new technology.

All Age Apprenticeships aim to create wider benefits for sectors and the economy, including:

  • A broader pool of skilled talent across various sectors.
  • Increased opportunities for fresh perspectives and diverse experiences.
  • A stronger, more versatile workforce, ready to drive long-term growth.

How employers can get an apprentice started

All Age Apprenticeships are now available through DfE’s ApprenticeshipsNI programme which is delivered by the six further education colleges and more than 20 private training organisations.

If you want to take on an apprentice or improve the skills of your employees – read more on the ApprenticeshipsNI programme.

Individuals who are thinking of a career change or re-engaging with the labour market are also urged to consider how an apprenticeship can open doors to a new career, and allow you to gain industry-relevant skills whilst earning a wage. Find out more about becoming an apprentice under the All Age Apprenticeships