What is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a structured training program that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction. It is a method of vocational education and skill development that allows individuals, typically referred to as apprentices, to learn and develop specific skills and knowledge in a particular trade or profession while working under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals.

Key Features of the Apprenticeship:

On-the-Job Training:

Apprentices work in a real-world job setting, gaining hands-on experience and practical skills. They are often employed by a company or organisation.

Classroom Instruction:

In addition to practical experience, apprentices typically attend formal education classes or training sessions to acquire theoretical knowledge related to their chosen field. This education is often provided by technical schools, community colleges or other educational institutions.


Apprentices work closely with a journeyworker, a skilled professional in the field, who acts as a mentor to the apprentice. The mentor oversees the apprentice and provides guidance and training to help the apprentice refine their skills.

Structured Program:

Apprenticeships follow a structured curriculum and a predetermined schedule. They usually have a set duration, which can vary from 1 to 3 years, depending on the trade or profession.


Apprentices are typically paid for their work during the program, although the wages may be lower than those of fully qualified professionals. The wage typically increases as the apprentice gains experience and skills.

Certification or Credential:

Successful completion of an apprenticeship program often results in a recognised credential or certification that supplements the apprentice’s proficiency in the field.

Career Pathway:

Apprenticeships are often seen as a pathway to a long-term career in a specific trade or profession. Many apprentices go on to become skilled workers, technicians or experts in their field.

Types of Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are commonly found in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, culinary arts, and more. They provide a valuable alternative to traditional university or college education and are especially beneficial for individuals who prefer hands-on learning and want to enter the workforce with practical skills and job experience. In many countries, governments, employers, and educational institutions collaborate to support and promote apprenticeship programs as a means of addressing skills shortages and diversifying the workplace.

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