What is an Apprenticeship?

what is an apprenticeships

What is an Apprenticeship? Apprenticeship! You might have met this word while job hunting or browsing the internet and did not know what it is or what it meant. Well, you are in luck today. We will look at what apprenticeships are, if they are for you and how to apply for one, so let’s dive into it.

An apprenticeship is a job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re an average employee with a contract of employment and annual days off. It is a form of on-the-job training where employees gain experience, get a salary and earn a nationally recognized credential in their field of choice. So, an apprentice is essentially a typical job, where you clock in and out like the rest of the workers. In South, Africa Apprenticeships are generally restricted to blue-collar workers, e.g., electricians and machine operators. Apprenticeships usually run for 3-4 years, depending on the organization and trade of operation chosen. Apprenticeships are aimed at developing and nurturing trade-specific skills and improving the worker’s ability in their craft. Employers take on apprentices with a view of making them permanent workers. However, employment is not guaranteed after completing the apprenticeship. The apprenticeship scheme in South Africa was set up by various Industry Training Boards and was how the artisan skills base was developed.

Who are Apprenticeships for?

So, you might be asking yourself, is an apprentice for me? Well, it depends. Apprenticeships are for those people who have a clear idea of who they want to be or what type of career they wish to pursue. If you are not sure what you want to be, then an apprenticeship is not for you because they tend to lock you in a specific career pathway that is not easy to diverge from though possible.

If you prefer a more practical way of learning, then an apprenticeship is the right choice for you.  Some apprenticeship programmes require you to go to school and work at the same time. You might work during the week and still go to school at the weekends, so hard work and dedication are required to perform well on both fronts. You need to be well organized and have the ability to cope with both work and school pressure.

Benefits of apprenticeships

  • Apprenticeships offer you a straight alternative to full-time tertiary education for those who would instead look for work than go to college full time.
  • As an Apprentice, you can get a salary whilst still completing a tertiary education qualification, and at times you won’t have to pay tuition fees. The company does it for you.
  • Your gained work experience, transferable skills, and well-recognized qualifications put you in a well-placed position to get employment in other firms or a related field.
  • Apprenticeship eases pressure on tuition fees since you will be earning wages and other companies pay the tuition fee for you.

When and where to apply?

Apprenticeship positions are found throughout the year, depending on the firm offering them. Some firms offer apprenticeships at the start of the year, some at the end of the year, so it’s all up to the firm. There is plenty of internships to choose from; you must choose the right one for you. Apprenticeship vacancies are found on company websites or job seekers websites like vacancymail.co.za.

How to apply

To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to apply as if you are applying for a real job. When you have found the right apprenticeship for you, you will need a CV and cover letter to apply.

Final Words

To conclude, apprenticeships are an excellent way to pursue that career you have always wanted directly. There are misconceptions about apprenticeships programmes; some people tend to think of them as a lesser qualification; however, that couldn’t be more wrong. Apprenticeships are just as equal as any other qualification, if not better, at times depending on the profession. They help you gain experience quickly and involve a much more practical approach to learning. So, consider applying for an apprenticeship; it might be the big break you need for your career.




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