1.1 Background to the Study
Apprenticeship normally combines part-time formal education with training and experience at the workplace. As such, it involves four parties employers, trainees, educators, and government as potential bearers of its costs and recipients of its benefits. The conditions under which they are willing to bear those costs and can receive those benefits constitute a fruitful area of contemporary research, both theoretical and empirical. (Ryan, 2001)
The issue is particularly important for employers. Full-time vocational education involves the employer and the labor market only indirectly, as agent and arena respectively for the trading of human capital after its creation. Apprenticeship, by contrast, involves both directly, as part of the creation of human capital. Following Becker, a key question is: why would any employer provide and finance training for an asset, viz. employee skills, that it does not own and for any investment in which it cannot in competitive markets extract a return?
The wider benefits of apprenticeship have also attracted scientific interest. Many observers, including economists, educators, managers, and policy makers alike, view apprenticeship as superior to full-time schooling as a source of efficient skill development. Its potential benefits include: (a) the cognitive and motivational effects of integrating theory and practice in skill learning; (b) a closer correspondence between the content of skills and the requirements of actual production systems; and (c) increased youth employment rates, and better school-to-work transitions in general (Ryan 2001; Field et al. 2009).
The evidence does not uniformly favor apprenticeship: traditional and unregulated apprenticeship often shows limited learning content and a poor integration of theory— where present in the first place with practice. Nor does apprenticeship invariably induce superior labor market outcomes for participants. Apprenticeship is more vulnerable to fluctuations in both economic activity and the youth population than is full-time schooling. Moreover, occupation-specific training such as apprenticeship may be better suited to incremental than to radical innovation, resulting in a slower adaptation of new technology and possibly a slower growth rate (Hall and Soskice 2001). These drawbacks have not however prevented widespread policy interest in apprenticeship in advanced economies since the 1970s (Krueger and Kumar 2004).
Scientific interest in apprenticeship is promoted also by the high dispersion of training activity across sectors, occupations, and countries. A standard indicator is the share of educational enrollments at upper secondary level that involve part-time training at workplaces. Across 17 advanced economies in 2006, this indicator had a coefficient of variation of 92%, as compared to 5% for the enrollment rate in all programs, and 64% for that in full-time vocational programs. In Germany and four of its smaller neighbors, apprentices account for between one-third and two-thirds of upper-secondary enrollments; in Belgium, South Korea, and Sweden, for very few or none (OECD, 2008). Why do countries differ so much in so potentially important an aspect of skill formation?
We define apprenticeship as programmme that comprise both work-based training and formal education, in most countries at upper-secondary level, and lead to a qualification in an intermediate skill, not just to semiskilled labour. Apprenticeship is therefore distinct from three activities for which it is often an alternative: full-time vocational education, standalone on-the-job training, and labor market programs. Even then, the term “apprenticeship” covers a heterogeneous reality. Definitions of apprenticeship vary from country to country and comparative data on it are limited
Human capital on the other hand refers to possession of skills, work experience, knowledge or other useful characteristics (motivational incentive, leadership style and locus of control). Other human capital factors that affect entrepreneurship include gender, age, ethnicity, relevant industry experience and general management experience (Shepherd et al., 2000; Lee and Chang, 2005). Human capital such as apprenticeship education enables immigrant entrepreneurs to deal with a host of challenges. Some scholars have claimed that success in entrepreneurial venture can be attributed to superior human capital resource and not other external factors. Human capital has been defined as a key building block in improving an enterprise’s assets and employees in order to boost production as well as sustain competitive advantage (Audretsch & Monsen, 2008). To maintain competitiveness in the organisation, human capital becomes the machinery used to boost productivity (Rastogi, 2002). According to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] (2008), human capital is an imperative input for organisations particularly for employees’ constant improvement essentially on knowledge, skills and abilities.
According to Wright, Dunford & Snell (2001) human capital relates to the human resources people bring to the businesses. Human capital is conceptualised as consisting of the education, training, knowledge, skills and experiences at a given point in time (Boxall & Purcell, 2003) that help in the responsibilities of getting one’s work done. For instance, (Sanders and Nee 1997) had proved that human capital resources are positively related to business longevity and profit. They also proved that an immigrant with higher apprenticeship education have greater chances of succeeding in new venture creation.
Since time immemorial, people have transferred skills from one generation to another in some form of apprenticeship. In Nigeria and all over Africa, apprenticeship has been an age long method of training young people in trade and craft, agriculture, business and catering. When youths in olden days achieved the status of skilled worker; they become important members of the society. In Igbo land, apprenticeship system was an institution that was generally guarded by customs, lineage and rituals. Every male born into a family was expected to learn his matrilineal craft, and it was easy to identify a young male child as a member of lineage found to be proficient in the lineage craft (Onyima, Nzewi & Chiekezie, 2010).
The apprenticeship system was brought to the limelight in Nigeria after the Nigerian-Biafran war. Many parents who were left with nothing after the war were forced to send their children (8- 20 years) to survive as traders. This was how Igbo settlers after the war rebuilt Onitsha, Nnewi, Aba and most parts of Lagos. In the apprenticeship system, the ‘Oga’ and ‘Nwaboyi’ are in agreement for a period ranging from 4-7 years whereby the apprentice is to serve and learn from the ‘Oga’ (Onyima, Nzewi & Chiekezie, 2016). Usually, the mode of settlement is contained in the agreement.
Apprenticeship as a method of establishing young people, and training the unskilled, has been very beneficial to the Igbos. Many people achieved excellence in their calling because their Oga trained and settled them well. Many notable business moguls in Onitsha attribute their success to what they learnt as apprentice. Admittedly, apprenticeship offers the Nwaboyi the opportunity to acquire business acumen, work attitude, how to deal with suppliers and customers, and interaction with other practitioners. It provides contacts/networks and lessens the burden on the Nwaboyi’s parents. In addition, it has helped youths from indigent homes to achieve excellence in what they do (Audretsch & Monsen, 2008).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Apprenticeship skills has been discovered to contribute extensively to Human capital development, in which the importance of skilled worker are generally regarded as more appropriate short term solution to the skill crisis (Gann and Senker, 1998). According to Steedman and Ryan (1998), “this process of training has led to the development of human capital, systematically long term training for a recognized occupation taking places substantially written and undertaken under an independent craftman/master should be govern by a writing contract of apprenticeship and be subject to establish standard”. A young apprentices learn by way of observation and imitation from and experienced master, acquire the skills of the trade and it inducted to the culture and network of the business. (Streeck, 1989).
“Human capital is the backbone of the success of every organization, He suggested that human capital management is about three key capacities; the capacities to develop talent, the capacities to deploy talent and the capacities to continuously attract talent from elsewhere, collectively the three capacities form the backbone of any workshops in human capital competitiveness (Mahroum, 2007).
Apprentices play a key role in human skills and acquisition empowerment. Their task is to learn the rules of the guild. The problem with this apprenticeship is that while it can transfer traditional skills across generations, it does not provide a basis for innovation. Whether modern-day apprenticeships simply transfer old skills or support innovation by imparting new ones is an area of active policy discussion in both developed and developing countries. Apprenticeships cover many forms of training and operate under a wide array of institutional arrangements in economies with very different economic structures. This study focuses on how apprenticeships operate in Nigeria, where most apprenticeships are in the private informal sector, and where manufacturing is still a very small part of the economy compare to that of crude oil.
Further, formal education systems typically concentrate on providing an academic rather than a technical education. Because of these features, the way that apprenticeships fit into the overall acquisition of human capital differs from individuals and what is being acquired. Unless policy can more successfully create higher paying wage jobs, expanding apprenticeships will not, for most people, result in high incomes for the newly trained.
1.3 Research Question
i. Who is an apprentice?
ii. Why do people engage in apprenticeship training?
iii. Is apprenticeship a programme and reasons why people decide to go through apprenticeship skills, is it beneficial to the society?
1.4 Research Objective
i. To find out who an apprentice is
ii. To know the reason why people engage in apprenticeship training
iii. To find out if an apprenticeship is a programme and the reason why people go through it and to know how it reflect on the society, if it is beneficial or the other way round.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this study shall cover the apprentice in Losaj Electrical and Wiring Company. The study shall be limited to Losaj Electrical and Wiring Company apprentices in Ijebu Ode Ogun State. The reason for limiting this study to the selected area is because of the researcher familiarity with the company, time and financial constraint.
1.6 Significance of the Study
In effort at improving the training of apprentice in the society and to get them motivated in their training. This in term can help in planning and formulating further encouragement for apprentices in the society.
This study will engage their master in the training in revealing the actual and ideal pictures and gaining their support for recommendation for closing gap. This essence informs them about the features of the quality of apprenticeship training and their benefit to the apprentice themselves and as well as the society.
1.7 Conceptual Clarification
Apprenticeship: This is a system of training a new generation of practioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often accompany with classroom work and reading.
Human Capital Development: It is referred to as a the key building block in improving an enterprises asset and employees in order to boost production as well as sustain competitive advantage. It is simply a know-how, capabilities, skills and expertise of individual as a member of organization or self-employed.
Skills: A skill is the ability to carry out a task with determined results often within a given amount of time and/or energy.
Acquisition: The act of gaining knowledge during the period of training or apprenticeship.
Training: The action of undertaking a course for skills and acquisition development.