Adult apprentices thriving with new career choices

Joseph Bulmer

South Devon college is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with an increase in the number of people signing up to do apprenticeships.

In the last two years, the College has seen a 65% growth across all sectors and ages. There have been notable increases in adults over 19 on the Initial Teacher Education, Hair and Beauty and Electrical Installation apprenticeships.

“We are delighted that so many adults are seeing the value of an apprenticeship,” said Emily Tucker, Head of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at South Devon College.

“An apprenticeship is a real job, with a contract and salary and it’s available to anyone over 16 years old. There is no upward limit on age so it offers a real opportunity for people wanting to change direction later in life.

“We’ve seen an upsurge in people wanting to retrain or change their career since Covid. The benefit of an apprenticeship is that you earn as you learn and we have a variety of apprenticeships to suit everyone from Level 2, which is equivalent to GCSEs, up to degree level at University Centre South Devon.”

28 year-old Libby Grant from Paignton decided to do a Hair and Beauty apprenticeship after signing up for a hairdressing evening class. She was working as a manager at a fast food restaurant at the time but had always wanted to be a hairdresser.

Libby said: “I decided to do an apprenticeship as I felt I needed more confidence to be able to get into a salon. I didn’t feel I could just do a college course and then apply to be in a hairdressers because I felt like you need salon experience, such as working with clients and working with other people. I thought an apprenticeship would be the best option, so I could go to college and work in a salon.”

There are apprenticeships available at South Devon College across all sectors, including the recognisable ones like care, construction and catering but there’s also apprenticeships in marketing, management and audiology.

For further information on apprenticeships at South Devon College go to