Definition of Apprenticeship System

Meaning of the Apprenticeship System

The apprenticeship system is an informal system of training in which knowledge is passed from a master craftsman to learners, usually young children, over a period of time. The period of apprenticeship varies, depending on the trade. It usually lasts between 2 and 4 years. The apprentice could be a boy or a girl.


However, there are some trades that are for boys or girls only. There are also strict rules and regulations that the apprentice must strictly adhere to in order to benefit from the training. However, these rules are not written down, but are imbibed or taught in the course of training for particular trades. It is however essential that the apprentice should strictly comply with them, and be fully committed to the training.


Objectives of the Apprenticeship System

The objectives of the apprenticeship system include the following:

1 To assist the learner in acquiring useful skills that will guarantee a source livelihood for him or her.

2 To promote self-reliance by encouraging the setting up of cottage industries after training.

3 To aid the transfer of craft technology to trainees

4 To create opportunities for useful livelihood for those who cannot cope with Western education.

5 To give practical skills to school learners in order to help them to secure jobs easily (after school).


Trades under the Apprenticeship System

The following trades are among the many trades that have the apprenticeship system in Nigeria:

1 Welding

2 Carpentry

3 Hairdressing (male and female)

4 Sewing or fashion designing

5 Shoe making and repairs

6 Watch/clock repairs

7 Bricklaying

8 Cane weaving

9 Cloth weaving

10 Potteries

11 Bead making


Types of Apprenticeship System

The apprenticeship system, as we have noted before, is an informal system of training. It is of various types.

These include the following:

1 Father/son apprenticeship system: This is mainly a system of training for young members of the family.  So, persons who are outside the family may not be accepted as apprentices.

2 Mother/daughter apprenticeship systems: This is also strictly a family system of training, so that non-family members may not be accepted as apprentice.

3 Master craftsman/apprentice: This is an open training apprenticeship system where anybody can be accepted for training based on set conditions.

4 Master trader/apprentice: This is also an open training system where the apprentice is trained in the particular goods which the master trader deals in. Here, the apprentice learns how to successfully trade in such goods as the master has specialised in.

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Importance of the Apprenticeship System

1 The system equips young ones with useful skills for earning a reasonable livelihood as adults.

2 It builds self-confidence in the trainees.

3 The training system encourages economical use of materials in order to reduce the cost of production.

4 The apprenticeship system is in itself a good form of education for young people who cannot afford or cope with Western education.

5 This system give to school leavers’ skills required of them by employers in order to be useful in the workplace acquired through the apprenticeship system


The apprenticeship training gives the trainee the opportunity to acquire positive attitudes that are relevant to survival, and for profitable operation as an entrepreneur. These attitudes include:

1 hard work

2 Commitments

3 Self-discipline

4 Good communication skills

5 Endurance

6 Good customer relations

7 Determinations to


Strategies & Activities:

Step: Teacher revises the previous topic.

Step 2: Teacher introduces the new topic.

Step3: Teacher explains the new topic.

Step4: Teacher welcomes pupils’ questions.

Step5: Teacher evaluates the pupils.


Assessment & Evaluation:

List the functions of drama

Mention the forms of drama.



.Essay questions

1 What is apprenticeship system?

2 Give four objectives of apprenticeship system.

3 Give six trades where apprenticeship system is practiced


See also


Introduction to Forms of Drama

Introduction to Collage

Colouring of Functional Art Works

Paper Craft Making and Decoration

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