Jet2 says ‘apprenticeships are for everyone’ after taking on 56-year-old

A and Jet2holidays employee has proved age is no barrier to retraining at the start of National Apprenticeship week.

Jyoti Patel, aged 56, has completed an apprenticeship to work in procurement at the airline and tour operator, which has 150 apprentices and is planning a series of events for the 2024 National Apprenticeship Week from February 5 to February 11.

Patel last worked in procurement 25 years ago but decided to step away from her career to become a full-time mum and then retrained as a secondary school teacher.

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As her second child left to go to university, and after 10 years as a teacher, she joined Jet2 in 2022 as a procurement apprentice. The course offered practical work experience and professional training.

She said: “I decided on an apprenticeship as I wanted to learn on the job and receive an income at the same time. After facing multiple rejections, due to my absence from the field, and Jet2holidays offered me a job through their apprenticeship scheme. I initially thought that apprenticeships were just for younger people, but I now realise that they’re for any age.”

She has now successfully passed her Charted Institute of Procurement and Supply qualification.

She added: “I initially had reservations about studying again at this stage in my life, but soon realised that I was thoroughly enjoying the challenge of learning, and my confidence grew with every exam I passed. This was my stepping stone to a career as a procurement buyer, which I have waited to progress for a long time.

“I’m excited about the positive career progress that lies ahead. I would recommend anyone who thinks they are too old to apply for an apprenticeship that they reconsider and just go for it. It is the best career move I have made!”

Jet2 is supporting the 17th annual National Apprenticeship Week, which is this year themed Skills for Life. It will attend the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair and is also developing ideas to support the ‘Jet2 Journey to Net Zero’ and sustainability strategy, supporting a Barclays Digital Eagles session on managing money, and encouraging apprentices to deliver career talks at their schools and colleges.

Jet2 offers apprenticeships at all levels, level two to seven, across finance, engineering, HR, IT, marketing, operations control, health and safety, ground operations, contact centre and procurement. Apprenticeship roles are available for those entering the workplace to train towards industry recognised qualifications, or for existing colleagues wanting to progress within their careers and learn new skills.

Jet2 emerging talent and careers manager Katie Rankin said: “While many people associate apprenticeships with young people, at and Jet2holidays we are keen to foster an apprenticeship programme that welcomes people of all ages and proves there is no upper age limit.

“Lyoti is a fantastic example of how apprenticeships are a great vehicle for helping people to retrain. Attitudes towards apprenticeships are starting to change, as people realise that they are a positive route for anyone, no matter who you are and what stage of your career you’re at.”

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