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Electrical apprenticeships are not a man’s world #lovetolearn

June 18, 2015

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Emma Clisby is a 35 year old, first year apprentice working in Crawley.

This week Adult Learners’ Week gets underway, celebrating lifelong learning well into adulthood. We understand that adult education can bring a number of obstacles. Juggling busy lifestyles can be a potential barrier to learning something new.

We’ve put together a series of posts from a handful of our adult apprentices, to encourage people into adult education by understanding how they can overcome the common obstacles.

Let’s begin with Emma, a first year apprentice in Crawley. Not only has Emma sought out a new career in her thirties but she’s breaking down the barriers in a male dominated industry – kudos to Emma!

What are the main obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

“At the beginning you are physically really tired by the time you finish work and you just want to relax at the weekend. However by keeping your eyes on the prize and doing a little bit of work every night, for example when you’re waiting for dinner to cook, you can keep on top of things.

The low wage is a common obstacle as to why more adults don’t consider an apprenticeship later on in life. I did some calculations before applying for my apprenticeship so I knew my budget and it’s not that hard to live off.  In my opinion it’s definitely worth it in terms of getting both the qualification and the experience, but I am looking forward to cooking something that doesn’t come out of my ’101 cheap eats’ book!”

What are your top tips for other adult learners?

“Make sure you are physically fit before starting an electrical apprenticeship. I used to cycle to work every day and played team sports but even I found the first month a shock to the system. It has upsides though – I don’t need to pay out for an expensive gym membership!”

 How do you stay motivated?

“I keep my eyes on the prize, remembering what I’m working towards. Always look for opportunities to learn, if it’s something you’ve done before then you can always challenge yourself to do it faster – there’s always something!”

Adult Learners’ Week is a national celebration of lifelong learning; the biggest in England. ALW is now in its 24th year. Visit  for more information.

Female apprentice Emma from Crawley