Our Apprentice ...

It has been very interesting over the last year watching our very own apprentice go through the experience of an apprenticeship.

Instead of this being an employee, it is our eldest, our son.

So, suddenly all of the work done by dad in a professional capacity over the last fifteen years comes into sharp focus. Yet, because he has chosen to be a Chef and lands himself an apprenticeship at a Michelin starred restaurant. One knows just a little bit more than nothing (it isn't programming, networking or computer systems support).

Now, time is not yet up, he started last May and is on target for completion in August. But I feel its worth sharing a few thoughts about the notion of an apprenticeship from the perspective of an informed parent.
  • No debt, and little burden, he is getting paid each week, food included. All we are paying for is a contribution to his staff quarters once a month. In fact, doing the calculation in the time of his apprenticeship I think we will have contributed only <2% against the actual debt a current university student of his age will be shackled with. A fact that Mummy and daddy does like.
  • A man, no longer a boy. Wow, what it has done for his self-esteem and maturity. Sending offspring off to university does have a similar effect, but the difference it has made to our boy and how he interacts with the world is something to behold. The challenge of the kitchen and the pressure of service (no its not like on the telly, they are more professional than that) has given him a quiet confidence and assurance.
  • CV fodder, where did you start, wow!!!! at the top, where, wow, there, really. No, not all apprentices get the same 'opportunity' but do benefit from their time in work. For many graduates there is no immediate guarantee that their degree in media studies (or the such like) is going to get them their dream job on graduation. For many, it takes time to build up their professional profile, having to start at the bottom. A place that many apprentices get a three to five year head start on.
Now it hasn't all been roses, in the time between college and this gilt edged apprenticeship, our son has experienced what can be described politely as two bum employers. (a tale for another time maybe), but now landing an opportunity that many others dream of.

I think to end, what annoys me is that in some elements of the political elite and the media, there are some who are vociferous in disparaging our youth. Yet, when I see the many hours graft and commitment of youngsters like our son, then they need to appreciate that there is a silent majority out there wanting the best and will work to get it. But then, we are biased.

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