Why Consider a Mature Age Apprenticeship ?

As of 2022 – the year of the ‘Great Job Boom’ in Australia, many workers have started to reconsider whether their work is fulfilling enough to stay. 

Some are seeking out job opportunities that offer better benefits when it comes to work-life balance. Others seek ways to retrain or upskill into new jobs and opportunities they see themselves enjoying more or are slated to be the hottest industries of the future. 

So it’s no surprise if you, like other mature-aged workers (anyone over 21), have been considering retraining to fit into a new role. 

More than ever before, the ball is in the jobseekers’ court. There are many different pathways and careers you can look into. However, with the skills shortage in trades and vocations such as IT and cybersecurity; and the benefits of this structured learning program, apprenticeships and traineeships are growing to become recognised as one of the best ways for mature workers to learn.

There are many valid reasons why mature age workers consider taking an apprenticeship:

  • Unsatisfied in their current role
  • Desire to retrain into a new industry 
  • Looking to get back into the workforce
  • Avoid student loans
  • Wanting to upskill into a more rewarding career

Benefits of Taking an Apprenticeship or Traineeship as a Mature Age Student

You’re Ready to Commit 

As a mature age student, you’ve had more time and experience to really know what you want. So you’re more satisfied with your decision (and thus more focussed).

This is why mature-age apprentices are more likely to remain committed to the full apprenticeship or traineeship term. 

Better Work Ethic and Attitude

As a mature age apprentice, you’ve likely had previous work experience so have employable soft skills desirable to an employer.

After accruing more experience, being more well travelled and already understanding work environments, we find mature age apprentices are reliable regarding their work ethic and attitude. 

Earn More Money

Another perk of being a mature apprentice is that you will earn more in Australia based on your age. Although the cost to an employer is higher, they are beginning to see more of the advantages that an apprentice with more life experience and maturity brings.

Earning While You Learn

It can be hard to stop and uproot everything when you’re older to retrain into a new career. Understandably, it’s daunting. Besides all the time you spend away from earning, universities and colleges load you up with often a huge amount of debt that takes many years to pay off.

It’s not easy studying while you have other commitments, but undertaking an apprenticeship allows you to put the hours you work on the job towards completing a qualification. So you’re already earning income, getting real work experience and learning the ropes of the industry – all without following many other tertiary students into a large debt. 

Completing a mature age apprenticeship with a qualification can help you work and learn simultaneously, without the debt and with more job security. Many apprentices and trainees find work much faster after completing their certificates than university graduates.

What Age is a Mature Age Apprenticeship ?

A mature age apprenticeship is an apprenticeship taken on by someone 21 or older. In Australia, there is no cap to who can undertake an apprenticeship, so it’s possible to take on a mature age apprenticeship even if you’re over 40 or 50. The same applies for traineeships as well. 

How to Find a Mature Age Apprenticeship ?

The process of finding a mature-age apprenticeship is really the same at any age. 

Look through job boards that are asking for an apprentice, and reach out to them regardless of whether they say they are looking for an adult or mature-age apprentice or not. They may be open to considering hiring an adult apprentice but not have expected one to apply. 

How Long is a Mature-Age Apprenticeship ?

Same same for everyone. Most adult apprenticeships take 3-4 years before completion. mature-age traineeships take between 1-2 years to complete. 

It all depends on the certificate or qualification you are looking to complete, so remember to look at what you are interested in first. 

Why an Apprenticeship ?

Apprenticeships are the structured learning pathway many tradespeople enter for their line of work. 

Unlike a university or college degree, an apprenticeship is paid for by your employer. Additionally, instead of being confined to learning in a classroom setting, you begin learning in the workplace. Apprentices are simultaneously workers and students, meaning you can learn and practise hands-on skills under an employer that go towards a completed certificate while also earning income, making connections and incurring real on-the-job experience. 

The demand for trades workers in Australia outstrips the supply, which is why getting into a trade in Australia is a renowned way to get good benefits and great pay. 

However, it isn’t the only reason why more white-collar workers are leaving the 9-5 office cubicle for blue-collar jobs:

Why it’s good to learn a trade

>>Read More

Working Hours

Working as a tradie (and an apprentice) offers flexible hours. You need to work a minimum of 30 hours a week for full-time employment, but it’s easier to distribute it differently outside of the standard 9-5 office hours. Imagine getting to work, clocking off early, and heading to the beach or shops while your friends working other jobs are still at work. You may also have longer days with extended hours, but after–hours on a day, you will get paid overtime to put more towards your savings. 

Stay Physically and Mentally Fit 

There’s more physical activity compared to other forms of work, so it’s easier to keep a fit and healthy physique. Trades take both physical and mental labour, allowing you to keep your mind and body in good shape. 

Work in Different Locations

A trade may be the perfect occupation if you enjoy travelling, seeing new places and meeting new people. Workers in building & construction and landscaping especially get to see a lot of new places and experience more areas like one of the locals. 

Work Outdoors

This might not apply to every trade, but most trades will require you to at least spend some time outdoors. A large contributing factor to declines in mental health during the pandemic lockdown was a lack of vitamin D (the sun chemical), fresh air and greenery. As a trades worker, you can constantly go and work outside in an environment that makes you feel a little more in touch with life. This is especially true and beneficial for anyone who works in the horticulture sector. 

Find Work Right Away

You need to find an employer to start working as an apprentice, so you are literally working right away. However, after you finish your apprenticeship and certification, you will also find work quickly as a tradesperson, as there is so much demand. 

Be Your Own Boss Later

With continued training, experience and appreciation for your hard work, becoming your own boss and running your own business is not an out-there possibility. You can become an independent contractor, charge your own rates and work to your own schedule, and begin employing other people under you to begin scaling up your own business down the track.

If you find that you’ve enjoyed and found the program valuable, you can even employ your own apprentice for your business through 1300apprentice once you’re up and running. 

We’ve had the joy of watching people coming through the program do just this.  

At 1300apprentice, we offer apprenticeships in these industries: automotive, building & construction, electrotechnology, engineering, and horticulture.

Why a Traineeship ?

Traineeships offer a structured learning pathway into a specific vocation like an apprenticeship. Unlike apprenticeships, traineeships are often shorter and focus on a greater breadth of career paths outside of trades.

At 1300apprentice, you can take a traineeship in business administration, financial services, horticulture, information technology, property services, transport and logistics, or supply chain operations to name a few.

>>Read More

Business Administration 

A traineeship in business administration offers the perfect stepping stone into a prime support role in a business operation. Working as a receptionist sets you up with a range of soft and hard skills needed to keep a business running smoothly, such as communicating with clients, and customers and organising appointments. For customer service representatives, you also learn how to handle and make customers feel satisfied with having their concerns resolved so they are happier about their purchases or services. 

Information Technology

Information Technology is one of the largest growing sectors in Australia’s job market. As a trainee, you can start learning and practising these high demand skills to best place yourself to be ready for a range of these growing opportunities. 

Supply Chain Operations

As Australia brings back manufacturing to its shores with large federal investment, the need for more workers in supply chain operations will also grow. Warehousing workers have a variety of work and help contribute to a self-sustaining economy, which many Australians felt the pains of being without during Covid-19 while many were waiting for essentials like toilet paper, tissues, sanitiser, and hand soap. 

Financial Services

Bank tellers and bookkeepers do a lot to contribute to helping people and businesses stay afloat with active listening, financial products and problem-solving skills. 

Property Services

With our hot property market, real estate agents have been an occupation amassing in demand in Australia. On top of listing and selling properties, you also will be helping people find their next home or investment property.

What to Consider as a Mature Age Apprentice ?


An apprentice or trainee is an entry-level role, which means, like any entry-level role, it’s on the low end of the income spectrum. This means you can go down on expected earnings if you’re currently in a higher-ranking role elsewhere. However, you’ll also begin earning more with each year you complete.


Undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship at any age is a commitment of both your time and energy. While it doesn’t require experience or training fees, it is by no means going through the motions, as you will need to learn and apply yourself from the start. It’s also a full-time job.

Apprenticeships take 3-4 years to complete while traineeships take 1-2 years. 

Work Limitations

While there are a lot of interesting responsibilities to wrap your head around, as an apprentice you are always going to be eased into the tasks. This means the tasks you’re entrusted with at first will likely be a lot more basic before they get harder. 

What a Mature Age Apprentice Brings to an Employer ?

Life Experience

A mature-age apprentice has already developed experience in full-time work and is likely to have developed skills like resilience that make them attractive as an employee. They may also have developed more interpersonal skills by working with a team and may be quick to learn new skills.


Despite the benefits, not everyone sticks around for the long haul of an apprenticeship. Adult apprentices have already had some time to develop experiences and explore, so they may be more settled in committing to an apprenticeship or traineeship. 

Leadership Skills

While anyone is a potential leader, older apprentices are more likely to have previously taken on supervisory or management roles.

Role Model for Younger Apprentices

An older apprentice can help anchor younger apprentices and trainees in striving for and meeting a high standard of work.

Government Support 

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentive Program created by the Australian Government offers a $4,000 incentive payment for employers who take on adult apprentices completing a certificate iii or iv on the National Skills Needs List. 

You can find out more information here as an employer if your adult apprentices would be eligible.

Get Started – 1300apprentice Training and Support 

If you have been considering a mature age apprenticeship to jumpstart your career in some new skills in a new industry, we’re here to help you through this exciting time. 

There are a lot of great new opportunities for mature-age apprentices, especially with the skills shortages that many trades and vocations lie in, and our recruiters at 1300apprentice can help you through it. 

1300apprentice is a Group Training Organisation that has helped over 2000 apprentices and trainees find successful outcomes in work with an above average completion rate. 

Start looking through our apprenticeship job board to see what opportunities are available.

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