History of Apprentices

The Link Between the Apprenticeship Council and the NMBTC
Helping to Provide Skilled Workers for the Future of New Mexico

The apprenticeship system was first developed in the Middle Ages and was supervised by craft guilds and town governments. A master craftsman was entitled to employ young people as an inexpensive form of labor in exchange for providing formal training in the craft.

The Importance of Apprenticeships Today

Today’s apprenticeship programs incorporate three features, which, together, distinguish them from most other forms of education and training.

On-the-Job Training: Gives trainees experience with the day to day pressures and conventions of their chosen profession.

Earn While You Learn: This is enormously attractive to young people who may not want to go to school full-time and would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn and possibly work, either.

Employee – Employer Relations: They give employees the chance to engage in a continuous relationship with an employer and they give employers a chance to shape the direction of their workforce for the future.

The 21st century workforce is going to face a very different set of opportunities and challenges than previous generations.

According to the General Accountability Office, nearly 850,000 jobs will open in this country’s construction industry between the years of 2002 and 2012. However, many experts predict there will not be enough skilled workers to fill them.




Charts Source: U.S. Department of Labor, www.doleta.gov/OA/statistics.cfm


The State Apprenticeship Council works closely with the NMBTC to make sure the programs are compliant with applicable standards.
Collectively these two organizations are providing learning and earning opportunities for New Mexicans that might not have seen productive employment in their future and helping to keep them employed for the duration of their working career.
Many apprenticeship programs offer college credits for attending classes. For example, apprentices in NM can earn 51 credits through CNM to put towards their Associate’s Degree, if the choose to pursue it.
It is through partnerships like the one between the NMBTC and the State Apprenticeship Council that New Mexico can better prepare for this state and national growth.If all 440,000 apprentices in the country earned an average annual income of just $15,000 (a low average), nearly $1 billion in tax revenues would be generated, which is a significant return on Federal and State investments. 2

1Source: U.S. Department of Labor, www.doleta.gov/OA/statistics.cfm

2Source: U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.doleta.gov/OA/eta_default.cfm