An apprenticeship is a job where you learn, gain experience and get paid. You’re a regular 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 regular 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. Internships 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.