21Japanese Style Learning: Learning-by-doing in Japan, a Concept Still New to Management

21.1. Defining apprenticeships

In France, there is a specific legal status for apprenticeships. According to the Ministry of Labor, “apprenticeships are based on the principle of alternating between theoretical instruction in an apprenticeship training center (Centre de formation des apprentis – CFA) and vocational training with the employer with whom the apprentice assigns his contract”. Applied to the training of managers, it is assumed that management is a profession and that this profession can be learned through this type of combined education.

Historically, in English-speaking countries, apprenticeship systems have existed since the Middle Ages. Long used in vocational training1, the more recent system requires the apprentice to be paid and considered an employee. Apprenticeship combines practical work in companies with educational training, which leads to a diploma from a recognized educational institution.

In both cases, modern apprenticeship combines work experience in the company with training in schools or training centers. The objective is to give the apprentice both experience and knowledge, with a diploma at the end, to prepare her for a job and a rewarding start to her career. The company’s objectives are to be able to hire talent economically, train talent upstream and develop the employer’s brand.

In both Japan as in England, the notion of an apprenticeship has historically ...

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