Concepts of Apprenticeship: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Pitfalls

  • Michael GesslerEmail author
Reference work entry


Apprenticeships are one of the oldest, yet most popular forms of training at the interface of work and learning and/or the word of education and the world of work. In the first section, we examine the characteristics of different aspects of apprenticeship such as logic, formality, work, learning and teaching. In the second section, we discuss different paradigms which often lead to misconceptions: (1) the private-training-market paradigm, (2) the young-person paradigm, (3) the advanced-economy paradigm and large-company paradigm, (4) the low-skilled and blue-collar-worker paradigm, (5) the technical and men paradigm, and (6) the discrimination paradigm. In the third section we summarize the results in an “Apprenticeship Maturity Model” with six levels: (1) informal apprenticeships, (2) semiformal apprenticeships / time-served apprenticeships, (3) output-oriented apprenticeships, (4) input-oriented apprenticeships, (5) process-oriented apprenticeships, and (6) collective apprenticeships. The proposed Apprenticeship Maturity Model follows a development logic: A problem arises, is then addressed, and might be solved, and a new problem arises. This process leads to a development with different concepts of apprenticeship which can be described in terms of maturity levels.


Apprenticeships Workbased learning Vocational education and training VET Maturity model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute Technology and Education (ITB)University of BremenBremenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Michael Gessler
    • 1
  • Larissa Freund
    • 2
  • Susanne Peters
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Technology and EducationUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.University of BremenBremenGermany
  3. 3.University of BremenBremenGermany

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