Apprenticeship | Mike Gouchie

By: Mike Gouchie  09-12-2011

Apprenticeship is the period of time a person normally called an apprentice works for an employer in order to master the skills needed in the career. Most of the apprenticeship programs are sponsored by an employer. There are also some apprenticeship programs that are sponsored by a group of employers. Whatever be the case every apprenticeship program is geared towards training of workers according to the industrial standard of the employer or group of employers in order to increase productivity.

During this program, the apprentices are given some classroom related instructions, on-the-job training and also guaranteed wage structures. The above are means of attracting potential workers in order to train them and retain them. In other words, apprenticeship helps employers to increase productivity by working with employees trained according to their industrial standard, vision and mission statements. One good thing about apprenticeship program is that at the end of the program, apprentice who are able to complete the program successfully are given certification to show that they have been trained in the field they registered for. The good news is that the certificates they are given are widely accepted. It is therefore a plus to the apprentice.

In the apprenticeship program, the skills to be learned are determined by the industrial standard set by the employers or the sponsors of the program. The selections process as well as the duration of the program is determined by the industrial standards set by the employers.  During the program the apprentices are given some stipends throughout the duration of the program because they apprentices are also doing some work as they are learning. This is why it also referred to as on-the-job training by some people. The wages to be earned is determined by the sponsor’s industrial standard. The duration of classroom instructions given are also determined by the industrial standard of the sponsor or sponsors as the case may be.

There are some sponsors that provide the classroom instruction using their private paid instructors. There is also another option in that regard. Some sponsors liaise with some state sponsored colleges to provide classroom instructions to their apprentices. There is no stipulated duration for the program. What determines how long the program is going to last is the nature of the work the apprentices are learning and also the training requirements of the sponsors’ organisations. So, while some apprenticeship program may last up to five years, some will not last more than one year. It is good for the apprentice to be aware of the duration of the program he or she is undertaking before he/she enrols for the program.

Apprenticeship programs cover so many works of life. It is left for the apprentice to decide on which field to enrol in or for the employers to decide on which aspect of their firm to train apprentice on. There are apprenticeship programs for people who want to train in electrical wiring, plumbing, appliances maintenance and repair and installation, bricklaying, pipefitting and automobile repair. Other areas include childcare workers, chefs, information and communication specialists and others. In fact there are as many apprenticeship programs as there are many fields of human endeavours.

There are many reasons that will encourage an employer sponsor an apprenticeship program. One of the major reasons why many employers sponsor apprenticeship programs is to boost productivity in their firms. The apprentices are normally trained according to the standards of their sponsors. At the end of the programs it is believed that they have acquired the required skills that will help them to contribute their quota in the development of the organization that will employ them.

In most cases, the sponsors retain the apprentices especially those that have excelled in the program. Another reason why most employers sponsor apprenticeship programs is to help them cut cost on training. Training of staff takes a huge sum of money from employers. Sometimes, you will spend huge amount of money training a staff only to lose the person to another employer that offer him or her better salary. But this is not always the case with apprentice. The cost of their training is not high as compared to training a real staff. With the registered apprentice program the cost of training is partly provided by the federal and state government. After the training you can retain the apprentice. At least he or she can work for sometime before thinking of getting another offer.    

Another reason why employers sponsor such programs is that they can determine what areas they will like their apprentice to be trained in. The program also attract more qualified apprentice owing to the stipends they are given. Absenteeism is also reduced because the more the apprentice advance in his or her program the higher the chances of getting higher wage is.

Apprentice programs are open to anyone who meets the program requirements. You need to secure your admission first by applying for registered apprenticeship program. What determines the admission requirements is the industrial standard set by the sponsors. This is why the requirements differ from program to program. The federal law made it clear that the requirements must be predicated on the job. So, if you want to enrol in an apprenticeship program, you should make sure that you make enquiry on what is needed.   Check the local colleges in order to find out what is being offered.

Can you gain anything by enrolling in the apprenticeship program? The answer to this question is definitely yes. One thing is sure, at the end of the program you would have improved in your professional skills or you would have gotten any skills that will help you in your professional life. Another thing that you will gain by enrolling in the program is that it will increase your chances of getting higher paying jobs. Even if you are employed, at the end of the program your resume will have more value than it had before. Besides, you will be given a certificate at the end of the program.

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