What is an Apprenticeship Program?

It is a system where trainees earn their training on the job while earning a minimum wage as stipulated in the labour law. They do productive work while taking coursework, and by the end of apprentice, the trainee will have some valuable industry-grade work experience and earn credentials that will allow them to advance in their career. So, how long does an apprentice program last? It varies but most programs last from two to four years while some extend up to six years.

Who is eligible for an apprenticeship?

Anybody of consent age (16+) can join the program and earn a living while studying on the job. The law requires that all apprentices be paid a minimum wage as per the labour laws while working full-time. The minimum wage may vary from state to state but in most cases, it is the agreement between the apprentice and the employer to reach an agreement as long as the minimum wage threshold is not broken.

Types of apprenticeship

  • Time-based: where the progress of an apprentice is measured by hours worked on the job and in the classroom.
  • Competency-based: is a type of apprenticeship where progress is measured by the ability of an apprentice to apply gained knowledge and skills to perform tasks assigned.
  • Hybrid: is a type of apprenticeship where progress is measured through combining both time and competence of an apprentice at the workplace.

Who offers apprenticeship programs? In some instances, government agencies offer apprenticeship programs but individual employers and non-governmental organizations also do offer these programs. Most significantly, industrialists are best suited to offer these programs because they train and retain them on completion. Private sponsors may as well partner with community colleges to offer technical know-how to qualifying students.

How important is an apprentice program to the beneficiaries

The apprenticeship program is not only beneficial to the trainee but also to the employer. But let’s focus on the benefits of an apprentice upon successfully completing the program or even when in progress:

The program provides the trainee with a pathway for employment opportunities in industry-grade cadres, for example, they may become lead specialists in departments such as information technology, health sector, transport and communication, banking and finance sector, energy sector, sales, and marketing management, skilled tradesman and hospitality industry, to name but a few.

Secondly, the apprentice kills two birds with one stone, imagining earning a living while on training. You will not strain to support your livelihood and that of your loved ones while at the same time not paying hefty school fees that colleges and universities charge. What’s more, your wages increase as you continue to master new skills.

Thirdly, an apprentice earns the same credits learning on the job just like students earn credits studying for a course in a college or university setup.

Lastly, it is easier to move to the next level because of experience improving your earnings every step of the way. Trainees will also learn how to utilise Apprentice Wage Subsidies.

What is in it for an employer?

  1. Employers have a chance to cultivate a group of well-trained personnel that is highly productive from the start.
  2. An employer can diversify the workforce by bringing in divergent talents and abilities to the organization.
  3. Workers trained on the job have high accuracy hence minimizing costly accidents and errors at the workplace.
  4. Lastly, there is increased employee retention since every worker knows what is expected of them.




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