National Apprenticeship Week 6-10 february

27th January 2012 at 00:00

The number of young people starting apprenticeships in Britain has risen by 16 per cent in a year as school leavers look for alternatives to expensive university degrees. National Apprenticeship Week is designed to promote the value of apprenticeships in every area of business. Find ideas from the TES Resources team online.


Four thousand years ago, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi insisted artisans teach their crafts to young people. Records from Egypt, Greece and Rome show skills were passed on via apprenticeships. See Darren Ayling's resource on ancient civilisations.


Founding Father of the US Benjamin Franklin was indentured as an apprentice printer to his elder brother, James, in 1718 at the age of 12. He left before he was 21. Learn more about Franklin in a resource from M Cornish.


From 1601, under the Elizabethan Poor Law, "parish" apprenticeships became a way of pushing poor, illegitimate and orphaned children as young as four into jobs that were little more than slavery. Arguably, the worst job was that of chimney sweep. Small boys, often naked, were sent up chimneys to clean them - sometimes when fires were still alight. The practice ended in Britain in 1875, when an act of Parliament reinforced earlier legislation. Read about Victorian jobs for children in a resource from groov_e_chik.


Der Zauberlehrling, a poem written by Goethe in 1797, tells the tale of a sorcerer's apprentice who, tired of performing chores, enchants a broom to fetch water for him. He loses control of the magic sweeper and has to be rescued by his master from the spell. A favourite tale for centuries, it was set to music by the French composer Paul Dukas in 1897. The composition was later used in the 1940 Disney film Fantasia. Follow the link to find piano music for The Sorcerer's Apprentice: http:bit.lyxU58Xj

All links and resources can be found at

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