How many candidates over 50 have appeared on The Apprentice. The answer is: none. “Unsurprising” might be your knee jerk reaction. Apprentices are generally thought of as young people. But a rethink is overdue, believes Carole Easton, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better. In the current series, she points out, Lord Sugar is looking for a business partner who will offer serious value in the face of rising costs and have the commercial insight to ride out economic uncertainty. Older workers have the decades of experience needed to succeed in such challenging conditions. So it makes even less sense than usual that the programme makers favour youthfulness. “We need to expand our concept of an ‘apprentice’ to include anyone starting a new path in the world of work, regardless of their age or experience. Jeremy Hunt’s proposal to introduce apprenticeships for over 50s looking to retrain or get back into work is a welcome one and should be a spark to rethink how the business world envisages this role.”

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