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Difference Between Apprenticeship and Internship

In on-the-job training, the training is provided to the trainees, at the actual work location. There are several on-the-job training methods like orientation, coaching, job instruction, apprenticeship, and internship. Out of these methods, internship and apprenticeship are frequently misconstrued, but they are different. In apprenticeship, the trainee undergoes a training in which all the skills required for a particular occupation or trade are being taught. In this, the trainee gets hands-on experience while working with a skilled and experienced worker.

On the other hand, an internship is for undergraduate students where they learn specific skills and work experience required in a particular field or job, which may or may not be paid. People get puzzled when they are asked to distinguish the two, but the fact is that there exists a fine line of difference between apprenticeship and internship. Have a look.

Definition of Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship implies a course of on-the-job-training whereby the apprentice undergoes training for a fixed duration on a contract basis, in which he learns specific skills required for a particular trade and occupation. In an apprenticeship training, the trainee learns and earns at the same time. The training may by part time or full time, depending on the terms of the contract. The orientation program is conducted for the new employees.

In India, the training is governed by Apprenticeship Act, 1961. To maintain skilled human resources in the specified industry, the act makes it mandatory for a particular industry to provide apprenticeship training to those, who possess National Trade Certificate given by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT). There are four types of apprentices, which are:

  • Trade Apprentice
  • Graduate Apprentice
  • Technician Apprentice
  • Technician (Vocational) Apprentice

Definition of Internship

An internship is an on-the-job-training method in which the college students undergo training, where they get the first-hand experience about a particular job. The training is given in a particular industry which relates to the stream they have chosen for their study.

Internship training is provided to freshers, to improve their skills and knowledge, bring self-confidence in them and provide real world exposure of the workplace. The training lasts for a short duration, usually one to six months and it can be part time or full time, depending on the contract with the employer.

The training is undertaken with an objective where the candidates, learns to apply what they learned in the classroom teaching at the workplace. The training may be paid or unpaid. Creative, technical and professional education is given in the training. Moreover, the interns get a chance to learn about sales, administrative, supervisory and managerial education.

Key Differences Between Apprenticeship and Internship

The most important differences between apprenticeship and internship is provided below:

  1. Apprenticeship is a training program conducted in an industry or undertaking where the trainee gets a chance to learn and earn at the same time. An internship is a system of training in which the trainee gets an opportunity to learn necessary skills and knowledge, which are required by him in getting jobs.
  2. Apprenticeship is a work based training, whereas internship is a work based learning.
  3. The time duration of apprenticeship is longer than the internship training.
  4. Apprenticeship training is provided to prospective employees, but the internship training is provided to undergraduate students.
  5. Apprenticeship training is considered as a part of Vocational Education and Training. On the other hand, Internship may or may not be a part of formal education.
  6. The trainees of apprenticeship training are called as an apprentice. However, the trainees are known as interns in case of internship training.
  7. Apprenticeship training ends with a job in the hand of trainees while internship training ends with an experience to the candidate.
  8. Apprenticeship training is always paid. Unlike Internship which may or may not be paid.
  9. In apprenticeship training, orientation and induction training is given which is not in the case of internship training.


At present, skill development is a basic requirement of every economy. Such training methods not only make a person skilled but also make them more qualified, by providing hands-on experience during the training session. This improves the candidate’s whole resume, and he is eligible to explore better opportunities in the future.

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