Is it possible to quit an apprenticeship?

November 30, 2022

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It’s unfortunate, but sometimes, an apprenticeship just might not work out, no matter how hard you try to make it work. There could be circumstances that arise where you really have no other choice but to leave, like being required to care for a family member, if your own health is suffering, or if you are struggling financially. Sometimes, apprentices find themselves subject to redundancy, or you might have an issue with your employer or the apprenticeship programme itself.

It’s important to consider all avenues before quitting and sometimes you can find a way to remain happily in an apprenticeship. For example, it is possible to take a break in learning or there are options to make changes to your apprenticeship programme.

 Talk to your employer as well as your training provider to discuss your options before quitting. They can work with you to ensure you have a rewarding and enjoyable experience during your apprenticeship and most importantly, help you finish what you started.

How do you end your apprenticeship?

If you’re set on quitting your apprenticeship, then of course it’s possible – no matter what apprenticeship level you are working towards. Check your apprenticeship agreement to find out how much notice you’re required to provide your employer and training provider as well as any other details you’ll need to be aware of before leaving the scheme. Your employer and training provider will be able to help you through the process of ending your apprenticeship agreement.

 If you were hired as an apprentice and decide that an apprenticeship programme is not for you, but still want to stay in the company, you will have to speak to your employer about transferring into a job role and there is no guarantee there will be a job for you. If you are an existing employee then you will be able to remain in the same job.

What are your alternative options if you’re considering leaving an apprenticeship?

While it’s certainly possible, is it advisable to quit an apprenticeship? Even if it feels like quitting is the only option you have right now, before you go through with it, make sure you’ve really thought through all your options as there might be an alternative solution for you, such as:

    • Take a break from learning: If you are working through a
      period of stress due to personal or other circumstances, you can take a break
      from learning. If you take more than 4 weeks away from your apprenticeship
      learning, you will need to record this as a break in learning in your
      personalised learner record. Discuss this option with your employer and your
      learning provider.
    • Transfer your apprenticeship: If you have issues with your company that cannot be resolved, you could also choose to transfer your apprenticeship to another employer and continue your training rather than lose all the progress you’ve made. If you have simply found a better offer or find a company that’s a better fit, transferring your apprenticeship is a much better option than quitting altogether. If you have already found a new company you want to complete your apprenticeship with, then there is a process you can go through to transfer your apprenticeship.
    • Apprenticeships following redundancy: If you have been made redundant from your apprenticeship, speak to your training provider as soon as possible. There is support available to help apprentices that have been made redundant find an alternative employer or enable them to complete their apprenticeship.
    • Change your apprenticeship: If you decide that you want to change your career path, you will need to formally end your apprenticeship programme. You may want to continue as an apprentice in a new role, so you will have to reapply for a new apprenticeship programme with the support of your employer.
    • Resolve issues with your apprenticeship: If you have issues with the contents of your apprenticeship or are struggling with the off-the-job training or on-the-job learning, make your employer or training provider aware so changes can be made or extra support provided. If the workload is too much, support and encouragement from line managers and colleagues might be what you need. In some cases, the apprenticeship programme will just not be the right fit for you and you should speak to your employer about ending or changing your apprenticeship.

What are the ramifications of quitting your apprenticeship?

It’s important to remember that when you leave an apprenticeship early you will lose any progress you have made in your training. Even though you might have completed work in your programme, you will not be eligible to receive your qualifications. Leaving your apprenticeship might also
burn some professional bridges, so you might lose some references as well.

 While you don’t have to disclose the circumstances surrounding you quitting an apprenticeship to future employers, they will  likely wonder or question any gaps in your CV. So be prepared to come up against these questions in interviews.

If there’s any chance that you might regret your decision, staying and finishing your training might be the best course of action. You’ve invested your time and effort into training, it would be a waste to leave that all behind.

 Deciding to stay and complete your training will appeal to future employers and really lets them know what kind person and employee you are. There will be plenty of experience to draw from when discussing your apprenticeship during the interview process and talking about staying strong during a tough time might just be the edge you need to get the job you want.

Think carefully before leaving an apprenticeship early

The importance of communicating with your employer and training provider about any concerns you might have cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t speak up about what the problem is, there won’t be any chance to fix it. Having an apprenticeship end early is the last thing anyone involved wants, so they will be more than happy to work with you and provide any extra support or guidance that you may require. 

How can we help?

The Education Skills and Partnership team is passionate about learning and development. We work with employers and employees alike to design a programme that fits the needs of both parties.

Our learning and skills coaches are highly skilled and well-qualified in what they do. What’s most important to us is that our apprentices feel cared for and listened to and that our courses help them fulfil their potential, progress in their profession, and meet their individual career development goals. 

To discuss how we can support you during the transfer process or any aspect of your apprenticeship journey, get in touch with our team for a free consultation. 

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