When John Sergot began his apprenticeship training in the late 1970s, it required five years and 10,000 hours (eight hours per day, five days per week) on the job. Some larger shops trained their apprentices by rotating them in 6-month shifts, with 6 months running a drill press then shift to 6 months running a milling machine, etc. The shop where Sergot worked started him out with blueprint reading and laying out locations of holes that needed to be drilled. The shop foreman would check the work to approve it before the apprentice was instructed on how to drill a hole.
As the worker progressed, he was allowed to take on more responsibility by not requiring shop foreman approval on every step. If the shop foreman felt the worker grasped the function of the drill press, he introduced the worker to the next piece of equipment. There was no set time period or level of experience before progressing to the next level. The apprentice was introduced to new equipment based on the needs of the shop at the time. By the third year, students were into advanced tool design....