Apprenticeships Part Two: 7 lessons I’ve learned as an educator
As educators, I believe that we need to provide more context for apprentices, specifically when it comes to the purpose of an apprenticeship. By definition, an apprentice is a person who is learning a trade from a skilled employer, having agreed to work for a fixed period at low wages. The definition of trade is an exchange of a product and or services for a specific predetermined price. But in my experience, there is so much more to learn than technical skills of the trade.
Over the many years and many apprentices that I have personally trained, I have made my share of mistakes. But from those mistakes, I have learned a great deal about what is needed from me as an educator—and in turn, what lessons apprentices can benefit the most from.
Here are seven lessons that have come out of my many years spent as an educator.
- To take on an apprentice is not for everyone. It takes an unwavering commitment by you, the journeyperson, for their success—regardless of how they show up. It is important to remember their age, stage of life, and their circumstances.
- You have to be committed to their development as a person. Specifically, their growing ability to lead themselves. This takes skills and effort on everyone's part and, in particular, the willingness of the apprentices to wholeheartedly participate. This process is really about taking responsibility for themselves wholly and completely. I assure you this takes something for all involved.
- The educator has to be willing to give and receive feedback on everyone's progress. How are things working? What adjustments need to be made to increase the workability and success of the apprenticeship?
- Establishing clear goals that integrate behaviour and key growth indicators is of the utmost importance. This is critical because apprentices, in particular, need to connect behaviour and progress. The result of this connection is that they stay motivated and inspired to keep progressing.
- Communication is not something that comes naturally to all, but it can be learned. The language we use with guests carries a lot of weight, specifically when it comes to the use of luxury language with guests. The ability to use systems that deliver consistent value-added experiences to salon guests is a crucial skill.
- Financial literacy is an important part of apprentice development. Building and acting on financial goals pulls together the first five parts of the apprentice program. If apprentices have a financial plan in action it removes the barriers to accessing the financial rewards and responsibilities that an adult has.
- Advanced technical training is also part of their skill development. Skill level is important to build on as it will train them to be lifelong learners and is another way to increase their added value proposition to guests. The desired result is that at the end of their apprenticeship is that they are and that they get they are a fully contributing member of society.