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A person who agrees to work for a specified time in order to learn a trade, craft, or profession in which the employer, traditionally called the master, assents to instruct him or her.

Both minors and adults can be legally obligated under the terms of an apprenticeship contract, and any person who has the capacity to manage his or her own affairs may engage an apprentice. In some states, a minor may void a contract of apprenticeship, but in cases where the contract is beneficial to the minor, other jurisdictions do not permit the minor to void it. There must be strict compliance with statutes that govern a minor's actions concerning an apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship must arise from an agreement, sometimes labeled an Indenture, which possesses all the requisites of a valid contract. If the contract cannot be performed within a year, it must be in writing, in order to satisfy the Statute of Frauds, an old English Law adopted in the United States, which requires certain agreements to be in writing. The apprentice, the employer, and, if the apprentice is a minor, his or her parents or guardians must sign the apprenticeship agreement. Some jurisdictions require explicit consensual language in addition to the signature or signatures of one or both parents, depending upon the applicable statute. The contract must include the provisions required by law and drafted for the benefit of the minor such as those relating to his or her education and training. A breach of apprenticeship contract might justify an award of damages, and, unless authorized by statute, there can be no assignment, or transfer, of the contract of apprenticeship to another that would bind the apprentice to a new service.

A person who lures an apprentice from his or her employer may be sued by the employer, but the employer cannot recover unless the defendant knew of the apprentice relationship.The apprenticeship may be concluded by either party for good cause, where no definite term of service is specified, by mutual consent, or by a dismissal of the apprentice. Automatic termination ensues from the expiration of the term of service, involuntary removal of the apprentice from the jurisdiction where he or she was bound, or service in the armed forces even though voluntary and without the consent of the employer. The death of either party terminates the relationship, as does the attainment of the age of majority by the apprentice, in most instances. Courts may terminate such contracts when they violate statutes. The master's cruelty, immorality, interference with the apprentice's religious beliefs or duties, or other misconduct and the misbehavior of the apprentice also constitute grounds for termination.


noun beginner, learner, novice, novitiate, probationer, worker
See also: amateur, assistant, coadjutant, disciple, employee, neophyte, novice, probationer, protégé


a person bound under an apprenticeship, a special and ancient contract binding the apprentice to serve and learn and the master to instruct. The deed recording the contract is sometimes called an indenture.

APPRENTICE, person, contracts. A person bound in due form of law to a master, to learn from him his art, trade or business, and to serve him during the time of his apprenticeship. (q.v.) 1 Bl. Com. 426; 2 Kent, Com. 211; 3 Rawle, Rep. 307; Chit. on Ap. 4 T. R. 735; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
     2. Formerly the name of apprentice en la ley was given indiscriminately to all students of law. In the reign of Edward IV. they were sometimes called apprentice ad barras. And in some of the ancient law writers, the term apprentice and barrister are synonymous. 2 Inst. 214; Eunom. Dial, 2, Sec. 53, p. 155.

References in periodicals archive ?
A trades apprenticeship is an excellent foundation in understanding the electricity industry, and some of Ergons executives and senior managers started their careers as apprentices.
The government is failing in its duty to protect apprentices from bad bosses who exploit them.
The PJA claims many apprentices are unwilling to ask for expenses to be paid due to a fear of losing opportunities.
By the end of December 2016, more than 20,000 trainees would be enrolled as apprentices in different industries of Punjab.
As the employer, you must induct your apprentice into their role and provide on-the-job training.
Mechanical design apprentice Philip Marwood, who was hand-picked to meet the Prime Minister
Mitchell, an apprentice architect at Newcastle City Council, is hoping to build a bright future after being named national apprentice of the year in the Association of Public Service Excellence awards - the first time the prize has been handed to someone outside a manual role.
He said: '"As an apprentice with AAA Roofing, I am learning different aspects of the job from a really experienced team.
The Bryan Hildrew Apprentice of the Year Award honours the achievements of the institution's apprentice affiliate members, and the impressive contribution they make to the industry and the global economy.
A WOMAN who started her own business in the heart of her home town just one year after starting her apprenticeship, was named as Coleg Llandrillo's overall Apprentice of the Year 2014.
Chris Saxby of Capgemini, who starred in the film, said: "It's important to show other businesses that hiring apprentices is a rewarding process.
News the scheme had ended emerged as figures showed a separate initiative to support laid-off apprentices helped fewer than 400 people last year.