Set to be held this year between February 7 - 13, 2023, The National Apprenticeship Week is an annual small business recognition week aimed at celebrating the roles played by trainees in a place of work and their importance. The system of apprentices was first developed in the Babylonian era 4,000 years ago, around the year 1800 BC. The National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) seeks to award and encourage trainees to excel in their particular areas of expertise since the future of the economic growth of the country lies in them. It is also a chance for employers to appreciate the services offered by these trainees.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK
Many believe that apprenticeship is an idea that developed in the ancient era of the Babylonians, where skilled workers passed their skills to trainees for the next generations. Apprenticeship is a common practice in both Roman and Egyptian civilizations. However, by the middle ages, this practice had spread very fast across Europe.
During the apprenticeship, mentees or trainees aged 14 to 16 enter into a contractual agreement to stay with the employer for a given period. These apprentices would give their services in exchange for food, housing, and training in skilled labor.
Later on, the system of guilds developed, where after seven years of training under a skilled worker, the trainees were recruited mostly in medicine, law, and other fields.
The system was later seen in the fields of labor after World War 1. The apprentices were allowed to take up skilled work after training and learning from the skilled. Then after World War 2, a distinction was made between skilled, semi-skilled, and trainees.
In 1948, the Employment and Training Act was introduced in Britain, which led to the establishment of the National Joint Apprentice Training Council to be introduced in all industries.
In 2017, the Education and Skill Funding Agency (ESFA) which the Department of Education sponsors was introduced to fund education among children and apprentice training for trainees and young adults.
The EFSA then came up with the National Apprenticeship Week, which gives small business awards meant to promote mentorship in the workplace and as a way to award and appreciate these trainees as they work in the workplace.
ABOUT THE APPRENTICESHIP
Apprenticeship involves training a new crop of workers in a particular craft or field in a practical way and theoretical studies such as classroom or reading.
It helps trainees to obtain a license to work in a mainstream profession. Most times, training for apprentices occurs while they work for an employer who assists them in learning their skill or field as they continue to work for a contracted period after acquiring the required qualifications.
In 2022, there were about 214,000 trainees aged 16 to 24, more than twice the number 10 years before, as seen in the US Department of Labor data as of July 2022.
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