Where do you turn if you want make a start, or change, to your career, pursue an interest, or develop a new skill set? For the most part, it would seem education is the route that many take to achieve their goals. Is this the only answer? What about the apprenticeship? Not volunteering or interning, but a full or part time job – an exchange of time, skills, and enthusiasm between employer and employee. This isnâ€™t about altruism or charity. An apprenticeship provides the employer with an enthusiastic employee who, in return, receives a precious new skill set.
Apprenticeships thrive in some areas, for example among the trades and with more traditional craftsmanship, but surely this model is applicable across the board? Not everyone can actively learn in a classroom. Many people cannot balance the education-work lifestyle. Others are simply put off going into an academic environment for a whole host of different reasons. An apprenticeship fills this gap; the kid just getting out of school, the university graduate looking for direction, the mid-career changers, and those seeking a new chapter after retirement.
I canâ€™t think of an industry that wouldnâ€™t be able to accommodate the apprenticeship model. There are boundless opportunities out there that would bring about enormous benefit to companies, organisations, and individuals. Apprenticeships are ultimately about doing. Perhaps the Do Lectures could help facilitate a Do Apprentice? Ask a handful of speakers each year to commit to providing a structured apprenticeship to recent school leavers, who may not otherwise be presented with such an opportunity.
I have asked friends and family what undertaking they would pursue if provided with the opportunity to engage in an apprenticeship. Answers included landscape gardening, web design, agriculture, film making, human rights advocacy, and journalism. What about you? If you could take up a one year paid apprenticeship what would it be?