Apprenticeship – The Role of Local Businesses In Youth Development
There have been a plethora of studies conducted on the connection between poverty and unemployment. Similarly, studies have pointed to skills training and career building through apprenticeship as a way to help alleviate poverty.
The following can be achieved through apprenticeship:
- Businesses can give young people opportunities to gain experience of the culture that exists in the world of work. The youth learn valuable lessons in work ethic, including: effective time management; working as a part of a team to achieve set objectives; and how to handle interpersonal relationships in a professional manner.
- The experience of apprenticeship can teach youth appropriate and usable skills to leverage opportunities elsewhere, once the apprenticeship period has ended. By becoming more marketable, they are able to seek out jobs in sectors that were previously closed to them.
- Youth carry with them a dynamic energy that makes them eager to learn and take on challenges. They come to the workplace with fresh ideas, enthusiasm to make a contribution and a unique perspective of the evolving marketplace. Businesses can tap into this dynamism to make apprenticeship a win-win situation for the company and the young people involved.
- Businesses can provide mentorship through current employees who can stand as strong role models for the youth joining the workforce. The assigned mentor can assist with career coaching as well as with personal development. Often times, such examples are lacking in the communities from which these young people come.
- Companies derive benefit from the apprenticeship programme as it ensures that there is a set of trained individuals to fill future vacancies. These persons would already possess the requisite skills and be familiar with the organization’s structure and culture.
In summary, businesses in and around disadvantaged communities must begin to embrace their role in helping to lift these communities out of poverty. Apprenticeship is one way in which they can effect change.