In recent years Apprenticeships have been gaining more and more popularity and are now becoming a more efficient choice for students as they leave school. The purpose of this article is to provide you with historic information of where the Apprenticeship originated from. Records show that the Apprenticeships goes back as far as the Middle Ages.
Apprenticeships have come a long way, and I mean a long way. As previously mentioned the origins of apprenticeships can date all the way back to the Middle Ages. Yes, that’s right; the Middle Ages. Families of the upper-class status would send their children away to live with a host of different families.
The first real Apprenticeship system was introduced in the year 1563 by the statue of Artificers, which included conditions which could be linked to the Apprenticeship standard we have today. Master, in this case, was not allowed to have any more than three Apprentices at a time and Apprenticeships should last around seven years. This Act was repealed a whole 251 years later as the popularity of Apprenticeships decreased in the nineteenth century. This was mainly because of the conditions of these factories and how people exploited the use of young Apprentices.
Going forward into the 1900s apprenticeships did remain popular in many professions like plumbing, shipbuilding and engineering. Roughly estimated around 300,000+ Apprentices in the early 1900s. As time went on through the world wars by 1960 a third of young boys were leaving school to become Apprentices.
Unfortunately, throughout most of the 20th century, employers started to criticise the system in place for being too restricted and unresponsive to the industry. After the huge success from apprenticeships in the 1960s, it started to take a slow decline, with nearly half as many Apprentices in 1995 as there were in 1975.
In the year 1993, a new Apprenticeship scheme was announced called “Modern Apprenticeships” and was rolled out through the next two years. The main aspect of this scheme was that Apprentices would actually count as employees and would be paid a wage. This time there would be no contract on how long the Apprentice would be on the course but rather what qualification they would receive by the end of the Apprenticeship. A modern-day Apprentice was required to work towards an NVQ Level 3 which is equivalent to A-Levels today.
Sometime after this National Traineeships were introduced which was a Level 2 qualification equivalent to GCSEs. The purpose of a Traineeship was an alternative route that would eventually lead people on to an apprenticeship. This type of qualification was predominate in sectors such as engineering, retail, business administration and accounting.
This system alongside with the Modern Apprenticeships Scheme would eventually evolve into what we like to call “Advance Modern Apprenticeships” and in the early 2000s national frameworks were introduced defining the minimum standards required from each Apprenticeship.
Now as we reach the present day a lot has changed. After the election in 2010 higher Apprenticeships were introduced which were equivalent to foundation degrees or above. As more 25s became Apprentices the number of Apprenticeships started to double to over half a million.
Now we have new minimum standards that were introduced in 2012 for some qualifications replacing the old frameworks. Employers have to provide 30 hours of employment a week with guided learning. It also introduced a requirement to offer training in Maths and English for Apprentices who have not achieved a GCSE standard.
With more advanced jobs comes more advance Apprenticeships and with that comes an increase in popularity as more people have come to realise there are different routes than just going to university. Today there is a far wider range of Apprenticeships being offered to expand into higher sectors attracting students who would ordinarily make the choice to go to University.
If you are wondering what it is like to be an Apprentice in this day and age our website has many articles that provide an inside look of what it is like to be one. If you are interested or would like to take a look at the courses we have to offer, please contact us on 02380 866664 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out our social media pages to keep up to date on the world of Apprenticeships. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.