What’s it: Apprenticeship is an on-the-job training program where participants are still studying, usually for four or five years. It’s not a supplementary or extracurricular program but rather a way to acquire new skills and gain hands-on field experience before getting an entry-level job or educational degree. Participants are usually compensated during the program and can be appointed as employees upon completion.
What is the difference between apprenticeship and internship?
An apprenticeship is a bit different from an internship. Internships are more common in the United States, generally unpaid. This program is also shorter in duration, maybe around 1-12 months. Meanwhile, apprenticeships are generally paid and of a longer duration, probably around 1-4 years.
Furthermore, apprenticeships usually combine on-the-job training with academic instruction. Participants learn and practice for specific jobs, so they get hands-on experience in real work. Meanwhile, internships are purely on-the-job training and usually focus on developing certain skills needed in the workplace.
How do apprenticeships work?
Apprenticeship programs help participants put their academic skills to practical use in various careers. They get structured assignments within a company where the program is run. So, they have specific skills and experience according to the company they are applying for.
After completing the program, participants can take a certification exam to test the skills they have learned so far. Then, they can use the certificate to pursue a career because it is recognized in various companies. Or, the company where they join the program hires them to become employees.
This training program may have several levels, from beginner to advanced level. The participant and the company sign a training agreement. It is valid until the program is complete. How long does the program last? It varies, usually around 1 – 4 years. Or, it could be even longer, depending on the level chosen and the participants’ previous experience.
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What are the benefits of apprenticeships?
Apprenticeship offers benefits to participants as well as companies. Let’s discuss the benefits for participants first.
For participants, they gain the professional qualifications needed in pursuing a career. By joining this program, they gain experience and knowledge even before completing their education. Moreover, they can study at least 20% of their working hours. So, they can better prepare themselves before actually entering the professional world.
In addition, participants earn income while running the program during the training. In addition, they also receive vacation leave. When they are competent, and on good terms with the company, they have the opportunity to be hired as employees.
Meanwhile, the company can tailor the training program to their needs. For example, your company can assign participants to certain roles and jobs. That way, you can use their knowledge to benefit your company and do some tasks and jobs.
Another benefit is lower costs. This training takes place in the company and while doing the job. Therefore, it is different from off-the-job training, which requires your company to pay high fees to external training providers. In addition, your company can flexibly customize the training to your needs. Thus, participants develop the right skills, and your company also benefits.
Then, through this program, your company gets the opportunity to recruit talented individuals to grow the business. You can place them to fill vacant positions in your company.
Because you already have experience with participants, your company also knows how qualified they are by observing and evaluating their performance during the program. Thus, the program could reduce the costs of recruiting and training new external staff.
Then, your company has the opportunity to bring a new and fresh perspective to the work environment. So, it might help your company drive innovation and creativity in the workplace.
Finally, companies may also be able to obtain a tax credit. But, in this case, it depends on whether the government takes part in this program or not.
What are the costs of apprenticeships?
Participants do earn money during the program. However, it is usually low and might not meet some needs. In fact, when they often share the same basic projects and tasks with certified workers or professionals, they might still earn less compensation.
In addition, participants still face uncertainty whether they will be recruited as employees or not. The company does not guarantee to hire them as employees after the program is over. So, it may not be a suitable choice for some individuals.
Another downside is getting difficult or tedious tasks. Some of the employees at your company gave them unpleasant jobs, which they were not willing to do.
Meanwhile, for companies, this program can be a cost. For example, this program can make existing employees spend more participating in the program. You appoint experienced employees to supervise and evaluate participants. It can be time-consuming and may interfere with their workflow. As a result, they may find it difficult to complete daily tasks. Furthermore, their task becomes even more difficult if the participants are not qualified.
In addition, your company must pay participants. They might just help with some work. So, what you pay may not be commensurate with the benefits you receive.
Another disadvantage is a damaged reputation. There are times when a participant may make a fatal mistake, which may damage your company’s reputation. For example, your company puts them in marketing to help manage your customers. However, their poor approach to communication can irritate customers. Indeed, your company has control over their work. But, it may not be every minute.
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