Upgrading informal apprenticeships

10 May 2022
Aspyee Admin
Upgrading informal apprenticeships
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​Informal apprenticeship refers to the system by which a young learner acquires the skills for a trade or craft in a micro- or small enterprise, learning and working side-by-side with an experienced craftsperson.

This publication promotes a policy learning approach to build on the strengths of informal

apprenticeship systems and reap their potential. It provides an overview of what we know about upgrading informal apprenticeship for decisionmakers in ministries, trade unions and employers’ organizations, ILO skills and employment specialists in the field, and training experts in other international or national development agencies who are dealing with or envisage dealing with the training system of the informal economy.

It adds value for policy-makers and training experts by raising the relevant issues and proposing a new conceptual approach: this approach views informal apprenticeship not as a “primitive practice”, or “exploitation of young people” – as it has often been stigmatized – but as the training system of he informal economy that has evolved out of the traditional family and kinship based apprenticeship, and that has potential to develop.

It goes beyond the neoclassical human capital and labour market models that perceive apprenticeship only as a contract between two parties. By contrast, this resource guide looks at apprenticeship training through the lenses of institutions and acknowledges that it is embedded in a society’s institutions – both formal and informal. Evidence from advanced countries shows that a successful transition to modern apprenticeship systems is possible: developing the institutional framework means strengthening incentives and benefits from apprenticeship training, improving the decent work component, and securing public funding to finance the upgrading.