Apprenticeships first appeared in the later Middle Ages as an opportunity for young people, usually between the ages of 10 and 15, to gain practical skills and on-the-job training from a master craftsman. These adolescent apprentices came of age immersed in authentic experiences and surrounded by adult mentors.



Adolescence became a social construct. Most of the research into adolescence, often viewed in pathological terms, began in the 1940s. Removed from genuine, real-life experiences and confined to a restrictive, artificial mass schooling environment, it is no wonder that adolescents often respond with apathy, angst, and anger. But this is not how teenagers have historically behaved, nor how they behave today in many parts of the world.


As psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein, author of The Case Against Adolescence, writes:







Apprenticeship programs are a win-win for both apprentices and the employers who hire and train them. Adolescents gain beneficial abilities and connection to the authentic, adult world, while employers generate a pipeline of skilled workers. Teenagers are not innately troubled. The key is to support their natural development by removing them from restrictive, artificial institutional environments while reintroducing relevant pathways toward adulthood.


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