An Apprentice: Boon Or Bane?

An apprentice, in common terms, is a person, or in some cases a young adult, who learns a job on the go, that is, he learns a job while doing it. The term ‘apprentice’ was earlier known as ‘prentice’ or ‘protégés’ in the English language. The general age of an apprentice is from 14- 18 years, but it can vary according to countries.

In recent times, we are more familiar with the term ‘apprentice’ thanks to the popular reality television series  called ‘the apprentice’ where a business magnet pits young men and women against each other, to find a suitable apprentice for his/her business, based on their acumen, tenacity, skill and endeavour.

‘New Era for Apprenticeships’ campaign star Miles Taitt with Julia Gill from his employers Bentley (Photo credit: Apprenticeships)

How it all started

The system of apprenticeship was first introduced in the later middle ages, pertaining to trades like tailoring, baking, stationary, woodwork, etc. and most of these trades were looked after by the trade guilds and town governments.

It was actually practised as a form of free labour where a trader could employ young people, who would help him with the job in exchange for food, clothing, shelter and a little formal training in the craft. Predominantly a male bastion, sometimes, however, women were also employed as seamstresses, cooks, bakers etc. But, today the situation is not the same. Men and women alike are employed as apprentices in any and every job.

A match-making of sorts

Today, however, there are recruitment agencies, which, work on the concept of apprenticeship. Their work involves setting up the right candidate with the right employer; it is a match-making of sorts, where both the employer and the employee (the apprentice) are both happy. The employer is happy because he/she has the right candidate, who can provide him the services of a worker at a much economical cost. The employee or the apprentice is also happy because he/she has the scope to learn and get paid for the job, as well. Moreover, there are some recruitment agencies which provide special skills training to these young apprentices.

Apprenticeship is both an art and a skill which can be acquired through practice. After all, we all know the saying that the way to Carnegie hall is through practice. Even if you are not sure of which profession you would like to take up in the future, learning a craft can always be beneficial. If, in the future you want to pursue a business, the craft that you learned, can definitely take you places.

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