Apprenticeship is the practice of studying under the master of a trade or occupation to become a master of that occupation. Historically, apprenticeship meant that a person had to become an indentured servant in the household of the master craftsman, relying upon that person for food, clothing and shelter. However, today's apprenticeship programs are much different, with the apprentice earning wages and other employment benefits. Apprenticeship is an important rite of passage for many people in trade occupations.
Developing Future Leaders
Apprenticeship programs are important avenues to follow for the occupational leaders of tomorrow. These programs are often spearheaded by trade groups or individual companies to teach the apprentice the problems facing the industry or company and help them develop the skills and technologies needed to solve these problems. Apprenticeship program graduates are well-suited to become leaders in the workforce, as their knowledge base is often much larger than those who have not completed this formal training.
Decreasing Unemployment in Youth
Apprenticeship programs are important in bringing young people into the workforce on a permanent basis. Many young people without formal college education find that it is hard to locate a good job without some form of training. Apprenticeship programs allow these young people to train for an occupation, while keeping them out of the unemployment line.
Earning Occupational Qualifications
Apprenticeship programs provide the opportunity to earn the qualifications needed to participate in a selected occupation or trade, something that traditional college course work does not provide. In addition to the people that train in the program benefiting from these qualifications, the companies or industries that provide the apprenticeship program also benefit by developing qualified individuals to work in their manufacturing facilities and offices.
Apprenticeship programs often have the ability to develop character and integrity in young people. Instituting apprenticeship programs for children as young as high school age allows those young people to develop the character needed to thrive in an occupational environment, which is often vastly different from a traditional classroom environment. It is important to note that these apprenticeship programs are not child labor programs; they are part of a learning program to teach young people the skills necessary to master an occupation or trade and to thrive in a workplace environment.
- Washington State Department of Labor & Industries: History of Apprenticeship
- National Federation of Demolition Contractors (UK): The Importance of Apprenticeships
- Wirral News; Print Company Recognises Importance of Apprenticeships; April 2011
- NHS Employers; Employers Recognise the Key Role of Apprenticeships in the NHS; July 2011
- University of Minnesota; Reinventing Apprenticeship; Robert Halpern, Ph.D.; March 2011
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