79: Learning a trade

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
79: Learning a trade


Do you wish there had been / would you currently utilize a formalized apprentice program for your career?

Show notes and links:
National Apprenticeship Week Report (Apprenticeship USA)
Frederick County students can apprentice with employers in new pilot program (The Frederick News-Post)
Apprenticeships: five things we’ve learned from new Bis statistics (
Apprenticeship statistics for England: 1996-2015 (
6 Differences Between An Internship and Apprenticeship (GlassDoor)

Full episode text

November 1-7, 2015 was the first ever National Apprenticeship Week in the United States. It was one more display of the fact that, in the world of employment, it seems that everything old is, in some ways, new again. The popularity of apprenticeships has been growing in the United States, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of other countries reporting statistics.

Apprenticeships are, at their base, a formalized method of learning a particular trade. They differ from internships and college experiences in a number of ways, though there is some fairly significant crossover in some areas. While an internship is considered a short-term thing to gain experience in a particular workplace of trade, an apprenticeship is a more formalized method of actually learning the trade in and out of the classroom, often with a job basically waiting for the apprentice at the end of it. It’s like driver’s training, for a job.

In unions, an apprenticeship comes with even more weight, as it’s a way of gaining the skills and experience to get into the union without necessarily attending a third-party education first. Many companies are also creating or beefing up their own apprentice programs in response to the lack of individuals with the skills or training needed for their positions. Of course, apprenticeships used to be the norm – if not the only way – to learn a trade, but it’s gaining in popularity, seemingly as the “promise” of a college education leading to a job has become rather thin.

This, though, depends on the job you are or want to train for, and what you want to do for a living.