From a young age, most of us have it instilled that we are to do well for our exams in primary and secondary school, then go on to get a diploma, followed by a degree, and finally land in our dream job. But, life doesn’t always go as planned, and neither is everyone suited out for that academic path. An often overlooked path is taking up an apprenticeship program.
An apprenticeship program is important for several reasons, one of which is that such programs are much more efficient at creating skilled workers. When we look into a degree program, it is more likely to be a three-year program that consists of theoretical lectures than practical application. This is what sets an apprenticeship program apart from a degree program. The opportunity to obtain real-world experience within a specific industry is an extremely valuable asset and is extremely crucial because companies and organisations look for experience when hiring employees. Students are able to learn and study while also gaining the experience they need in order to thrive at their workplace. In WAT Sarawak, we currently provide for programs under the culinary, food and beverages as well as fashion industry. Our students go through an 18-month program and emerge as an industry prepared worker. Therefore, the moment they graduate, they are able to assimilate into the industry and bring value to it.
Furthermore, the nature of the apprenticeship program is one where the focus is geared towards providing for the needs of the industry in order to ensure that it continues to run well. When we look into an academic route, students are taught every single aspect of their syllabus, so that they are all-rounded in terms of knowledge. However, once they graduate, they would still need to undergo training carried out by their respective companies in order to thoroughly apply the knowledge that they have while also learning how the industry operates and what it needs to continue operating. An apprenticeship program however, completely negates that stage, because the program already instils in the students the methods of navigating within the industry. This is achieved through the program placing students within the workplace environment during their learning stage, thereby exposing them to how the industry operates as well as its’ needs. Hence, it would allow for them to better cater to the industry.
On another note, the apprenticeship program is important and beneficial for the students, because it allows them to earn while they learn. The program structure under WAT Sarawak is made such that the students course fee will be fully sponsored for by the respective companies and students will only need to bare their resources fee. On top of that, students can earn a stable income through their monthly allowance during the internship period, alongside several benefits. This would definitely allow students to achieve financial stability at a healthy pace so that they can set themselves up for life.
In conclusion, apprenticeship programs are important because it caters to the needs of the industry, is more efficient at creating skilled workers prepared to take on their jobs as well as allowing students to obtain a great financial head start.