In the last two years, I have been taking apprentices in my event styling business. I find the apprenticeship arrangement to be one that is mutually beneficial. The apprentices get an opportunity to learn a trade while earning some sort of an income. On my part, I get to benefit from their labor, and from the fact that the apprentices are a more reliable source of labor than ordinary temp workers. Truth be told, it would be very hard for me to provide event styling services at discounted rates without the help of the apprentices.
Upon recruiting apprentices, the first thing I do with them is to give them a brief orientation. During the orientation, the apprentices get an opportunity to learn about the objectives of the event styling business, and the part they are expected to play in it. It is a brief orientation: I have modeled it along the lines of the orientation given to new jail inmates (though one may argue that that is an extreme example). To put it into perspective, before I got into the event styling business, I had worked for the correctional department at a county jail and got a chance to see how things are done. I admired the rather practical and well rehearsed orientations given to new inmates, and it is along those lines that I have modeled the brief orientation lectures that I give to my new apprentices.
After orientation, the apprentices are supposed to accompany my staff, and keenly observe how things are done for two or three weeks. This is the concept of learning by observation. After two or three weeks of such learning, the apprentices start having tasks assigned to them. The brief is for them to do the tasks the same way they observed the tasks being done, and to ask where things are not very clear. The complexity of the tasks assigned to the apprentices increases with time, and by the end of the one year apprenticeship program, they can handle any task. At that point, they become event stylists in their own right.