Hey Tony, I hope you're not training to be a sparky when I say this, but (can look away now if you like), I actually feel old myself! Compared to the other apprentice who is at my firm and is 16!! it makes me feel I've wasted 8-9 yrs of my life. I should have started the apprenticeship when I was his age. I almost tried to get a better company but they don't want to look at 24 yr olds as apprentices. I know why now. They're a few reasons, but still seems on the outside a bit ageist).
I think you would be extremely lucky to get on an apprenticeship at 33 today. Perhaps, I made it even more difficult for myself by applying in November, lol! Spring and early summer are the best times to apply imho, with college's starting in September. Not many companies do apprenticeships, so something must be quite wrong.
I phoned 70 companies in London, and phoned mine 10 frickin times, lol! And I spent many phone calls to the JIB, ECA and JTL. I do not rate JIB and especially JTL, what a joke they are! Was like a NASCAR race. Finally got on their 'approved' list but being older than 18 meant ANY company would have to pay half the college fees and a lot more to JTL for some silly 'officer' to help you fill in a arch lever file/portfolio which I can do myself??!! It would never had happened. It's so much doing it private through my local college. Getting my college placement was another story of sheer luck! There's usually a 2-3 year waiting list for the 2330 L2.
Many thanks to all you youngsters. The way things are going I might as well trade in my company van for a zimmer frame with a little basket for my tool kit. Still you can't substitute for experience, or so they say and I have to agree with the comment about every day is a learning day. As long as I keep learning I know I can keep working.
Believe it or not it is a great industry and the main qualifications required are inherent insanity, a sense of humour and a lecherous streak (knowing what you're doing helps as well!!!).
Must go now my cocoa is getting cold and my slippers are getting hot!