Case 12 - Apprenticeship

Case 12 - Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships in Britain date back to the medieval period. In place of a formal education in a school, a medieval child received training in the workplace in a specialist craft or trade. Boys and girls from as young as ten lived with their employer for at least seven years and were also taught lessons in life, morals and literacy. This prepared them to become an upstanding member of society. In return the employer collected a fee for their teaching from the child’s family, or sometimes charities.

Industrialisation led to a general decline in apprenticeships after the early 19th century but they were still used as a form of education outside the traditional academic subjects. By the 20th century, apprentices were often taught their trade in schools and colleges. More recently there has been a resurgence in the popularity of apprenticeships.

Cambridgeshire Archives
11th May 1764

Apprenticeship Indenture for Amey Basin. At ten years old she was apprenticed to Thomas Wayman... [Read more...]

Museum of Cambridge
20th century

Quarter-sized bricks such as this were used during apprenticeship classes at Cambridgeshire... [Read more...]

Museum of Cambridge

Charles French of Richmond Road, Cambridge, made this wooden plane in 1900 whilst an apprentice... [Read more...]

Museum of Cambridge

A ten-year-old boy made this miniature clay pipe at the Jack Cleaver Pipe Works in Cambridge.... [Read more...]

Museum of Cambridge

This indenture of Walter Thomas Littlechild details his apprenticeship to Thomas Hamilton,... [Read more...]


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