Apprenticeships have been used for hundreds of years as a way of passing on the skills of a trades person from generation to generation. In fact, apprenticeship can be traced back to the 12th century in Mediaeval Europe when artisans found it beneficial to ban together. In the Middle Ages, young teenagers worked as apprentices doing manual labour and chores while learning the tricks of a trade. The apprentices were required to work and live with their ‘master’ for the duration of their apprenticeship which usually lasted between seven to ten years.
Throughout history, many famous individuals have gained the knowledge and experience that they needed to succeed by working as apprentices.
Benjamin Franklin, best known for inventing the lightning rod, bifocals and as being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, worked as an apprentice for his older brother James. He was thirteen when he started as a printer’s apprentice, working for James who was the editor and printer of the “New England Courant”, the fourth newspaper published in the colonies.
The famous artist Vincent Van Gogh worked as an apprentice for Goupil & Cie international art dealers. He began when he was sixteen, working in several different places including London and Paris. Van Gogh, however, was fired in March 1876.
Henry Ford, father of the Ford Motor Company, was an apprentice machinist. He left his family’s farm at the age of seventeen and moved to Detroit to become an apprentice. Two years later he had completed his apprenticeship and was a certified machinist. Using this knowledge and experience Henry Ford was able to develop the Model T automobile, revolutionising transportation.
By taking the initiative to gain valuable work experience while learning important skills from a professional, you are on your way to success! With an apprenticeship under your tool belt, you can’t lose.
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