Like most people, I had always made the assumption that apprenticeships were for 16-19 year old school leavers. I had never considered the possibility of applying for an apprenticeship, especially in my twenties. But when I decided on a change of career from hospitality to business administration, a close friend recommended I apply for an apprenticeship at Hampshire County Council. She had done the course the year before me and had spoken to me about the opportunities available.
I was 26 when I started my apprenticeship, and although sometimes it’s been tough to get into the swing of learning again, it’s been a great experience. I’m the oldest apprentice in our group, with an average age gap of five years. Being the oldest made me the ‘mum’ of the group, a role which I fell into easily as most of the group came to me for advice. I didn’t mind them coming to me with things, as they also helped me when I was struggling with coursework or deadlines, as I had left school what seems like a million years ago!
I was quite worried at the start about the age gap and wondered if it would alienate me from the group, but it hasn’t in the slightest. We have a tight knit group who look out for each other and over the last year, we’ve become friends, not just colleagues. They never made me feel like there was an age gap at all and although we don’t always see eye to eye, they have all helped me along the way.
Our apprenticeship ends in just two months and we’ve now begun to wonder what life and work will be like after the course. For me, it’s going to be a little hectic as I have a baby on the way in June! But, none of us really know what the future holds for our careers from this point, at the Council or the private sector. But we are sure that we’re going to miss spending Tuesdays together on the course and that despite any age gaps, we’ve all made it through the year together!