Background of the Study
Apprenticeship has always been one of the major sources of labour supply for electrical installation artisans in Enugu state. According to Onoh (2006), artisans are skilled persons in the different occupational areas who have not had formal education or little beyond the primary school learning. Artisans learn through observation, imitation, individual initiatives and trial and error (Eneh 2007).Artisans carry out installation of new electrical gadgets/equipment, maintenance operations as well as construction of some projects (Ohanu 2013). Artisans therefore are those who acquire skills or are skilled in a particular craft. They have low level of education and training. Artisans are trained informally through apprenticeship system available in the informal sector.
Apprenticeship system has been available in Nigeria long before the advent of formal system of education. Apprenticeship is a form of vocational training. According to Ryan and Unwin (2001), it is the informal relationship between the master trainer and apprentice through which mutual obligations and duties of each are established by written agreement. The Authors further explained that the term apprenticeship is associated with a contract, either written or implied for service to be rendered. The service is a form of instruction on the part of the master craftsman and learning through working on the part of the apprentice. Okorie (2001) stated that apprenticeship training is the systematic development of knowledge, skills and attitudes required by an apprentice to perform a given task or job successfully. Apprenticeship is a system whereby an experienced and skilled individual otherwise referred to as master trainer agrees to train an inexperienced individual known as apprentice, in a prescribed occupation to acquire practical skills within a period of time. Achugo, (2013) explained that an apprentice is a person who bonds himself or herself to serve and learn within a definite time from a master craftsman who undertakes to teach him/her a trade. Apprentices are categorized into early apprentices and late apprentices in apprenticeship system. Early apprentices are those that are at the beginning stage of acquiring skill in electrical installation ranging from one month to one year. Late apprentices are apprentices that have acquired the basic skills and have attained graduation stage pending on the training duration. According to Leading Learning Council and Skill (2005), apprenticeship is training programme undertaken in the workplace, giving young people the opportunity to learn on the job while developing valuable skills and qualifications. According to Finegold and Wagner (2006) Apprenticeship is a contract between an employer and a young person combining on-the-job training, formal learning and productive work. In other words, apprenticeship is the process whereby the apprentice learns the process involved in a particular job so as to acquire the required skill under the tutelage of his/her master for a period of time depending on the agreement the apprentice reached with the master. It is also a process whereby students are admitted to acquire skills outside school which will enable them to acquire skills while they are still in school. Apprenticeship system in an informal setting admits individual with kin interest in learning any trade.
Apprenticeship system of admittance in an informal setting involves a contractual agreement undertaken by a master craftsman and apprentice where by the apprentice is trained in a prescribed work process through practical experience under the supervision of the master craftsman. According to Akinseinde (2001) admittance of apprentice does not have a clear pattern or requirements. It is usually an informal agreement between the master and the apprentice where the apprentices are trained in workshops. The shops where the apprenticeship practices are carried out are usually located along the busy roads, hence mostly referred to as informal apprenticeship (Amasa 2011). Informal apprenticeship programme, Osuala (2004), noted is characterized by lack of structured pattern for the admittance and training. The master trainer admits young men who are interested in learning their trade as apprentices. The apprentices usually are admitted based on written or verbal agreement with their master trainer on their terms of training. These terms of training usually include among other things the period of training, cost of training, accommodation during training period, terms of disengagement after full training, guarantor for apprentice good conduct during training, working rules and other regulations. The admittance of apprentices is done based on availability of vacancies and the number of secured training centres (Amasa 2011).
The attraction of apprentice to enrolment into apprenticeship system is sometimes determined by the competencies of the master craftsmen. Omotonwan (2011) stated that master craftsmen’s competencies are usually assessed by individuals, judging with the number of patronage they received from their customers. High patronage indicates, high competency and vice visa. Their patronage serves as an indicator of confidence and loyalty from the public who are interested in allowing their ward or relation to enroll. Acquisition of skill by apprentice in the trade depends on the competency of the master craftsman. Master craftsman’s competencies according to Agboola and Olaoye (2008), largely depend on vocational characteristics as such technical skills, availability and use of tools and equipment, the mode of training employed in apprenticeship practice, educational background, experience, maturity and rate of patronage, management skills in directing and controlling of individual and material resources. A graduate apprentice is referred to as an artisan. Apprenticeship scheme is available in different trades such as blacksmithing, welding, electronic maintenance, electrical installation, among others.
Electrical Installation is one of the trades also available for apprentice to learn and develop appropriate work skills. Work skills are specific skill required of the apprentices made up of three elements namely knowledge, skills and attitudinal change towards electrical installation. According to Miller (2000) Electrical Installation is an assembly of associated electrical equipment that fulfills a specific purpose and having certain coordinated characteristics. The author also defines electrical equipment as any item for such purposes as generation, conversion, transmission, distribution or utilization of electrical energy such as machines, transformers, apparatus, measuring instruments, protective devices, wiring materials, accessories and appliances. However the 21st century technology has brought changes in electrical installation equipment/machine which necessitates an improvement in techniques and method to enable electrical installation apprentices meet up with the specification of operation of modern equipment/machines for effective learning of electrical installation (Manatu 2010). Some of the attitudinal changes involve self-consciousness while dealing with electrical appliance, knowledge of estimation, costing and electrical computational skills, and mounting, dismounting and manipulative skills. The innovations and changes in the field of electrical installations have made artisans to limit themselves to acquiring skills pertaining to maintenance and installation of few electrical gadgets so as to become efficient in maintenance and installation of such gadgets. The efficiency of an artisan in electrical installation can be evaluated in terms of its suitability, relevance and completion rate.
The completion rate of apprentices has not been encouraging. Fuller and Unwin (2001) pointed out that there is deficiency in the completion rate of apprentices, which is blamed on the imbalances caused by inadequacy in skills, location, or personal characteristics and technological developments. However completion of apprenticeship programme is necessary so as to enable the apprentice to acquire adequate skill to function properly on the job (Aubrey 2010). The duration of apprenticeship is either three or five years but most apprentices drop out of the system due to harsh treatment by the master craftsman and lack of proper motivation to sustain them (Agboola 2008). Electrical installation apprentice rarely complete their apprenticeship training as a result of hazardous work environment and lack of incentives (Alhassan 2006). Apprenticeship system is concerned with how to achieve sustained high levels of performance of apprentices. This may involve giving close attention to motivation of apprentices.
Motivation refers to a complexity of forces inspiring a person to intensify his/her desire and willingness to use his potentials to perform in order to achieve organizational objectives. Oboegbulem (2004) describes motivation as an inducement, incentive, inspiration, encouragement in order to incite an individual to action. Motivated behaviour is characterized by action and it is directed toward the satisfaction of a goal or a need. According to Chintalloo and Mahadeo (2013), motivation refers to condition which influences the arousal, direction and maintenance to behaviour relevant in working setting. Motivation of apprentice is an important control tool and should therefore be adhered to in order to attain advantages like increased apprentices commitment, increased productivity and efficiency. After recruitment of apprentices, the apprentices subsequently expect or demand for other benefit as compensation for their time and effort towards achievement of the master craftsman goals (Baldoni 2005). Motivation is significant because even people with the required knowledge, skills and abilities will perform poorly if they are not motivated to devote their time and effort to work. Proper motivation of apprentice leads to punctuality to work and proper handling of facilities for training.
Facilities for training include any material that apprentice use and manipulate to get the appropriate skill. Functional apprenticeship system requires the manipulation of facilities for training apprentices in order to acquire the necessary skills in the training programme. Okorie (2000) opined that training facilities are the most effective devices which both trainers and trainees can use to enhance the quality of training. The training facilities include buildings, workbench conduit bending equipment, machine winding shop electric winding machines etc. Ezeji (2004) describes training facilities as anything that can be used to facilitate learning. Uwameiye and Iyamu (2002) stated that the set-up for the electrical installation training workshop involves the master craftsman and the apprentices. The master craftsman has full control of the workshop. The workshops of electrical installation are organized along the line of the master/ apprentices situation, where the master craftsman owns all the common electrical measuring instruments and other equipment, cable jointing shop and skills from which the apprentices benefit. The purpose of training is to acquire the knowledge, skills and desirable work habits, including the professional ethics required in electrical installation for effective performance. An apprentice is expected to invest all his/her energy and devotions to his/her training as electrical trade is the pivot of technological growth and development. The most effective training or learning method will depend upon the instructional modality employed.
Instructional modality can be referred to as means of attaining a learning objective. Umunadi (2010) defined instruction as the set of events designed to initiate, activate and support learning in a human learner. The Umunadi further states that instructional modalities are the most specific categories of teaching behaviours which are necessary for procedural purpose and for structuring appropriate learning experiences for apprentices in electrical installation. Instructional modality according to Alio (2004) is the description of the learning objective, oriented activities and flow of information between craftsmen and electrical installation apprentice. Onassanya (2000) stressed that apprenticeship system electrical installation is a good means of teaching skill but it has its own disadvantages, which includes lack of programmed training and a well thought out curriculum. To the author, in most cases the master craftsman teaches their apprentices as work comes and not as planned. There is a lack of end-of-course test or evaluation.
Systematic evaluation of training activities helps in evaluating the success of the training program. Evaluation as asserted by Okoro (1991) is the appraisal of the worth or value of the training programme and the making of appropriate decisions on the basis of such appraisal. Okoro further identified the input process product model of evaluation as suitable for skills acquisition. The main purpose of evaluation according to Orji (2003) is for feedback, research, control, intervention, and power game. The Orji furthers the identified processes of training evaluation as, before training, during training and after training. Therefore, evaluation of training is the appraisal of training outcome for the purpose of decision making. Zuzovsky (2003) also mentioned the advantages of evaluating training as; to assist improving efficiency, effectiveness and methods of training contents, use of organizational personnel, trainees’ performance and productivity. Evaluation of electrical installation apprentice does not take the shape or pattern of formal education setting rather the evaluation is done as they progress in learning skills of the trade. The apprentices are allowed to demonstrate their skills often times in the absence of their master. The repeated process of skills demonstration prepares the apprentices for freedom to establish his or her workplace.
The freedom modality of apprentices does not have a formal way of setting an apprentice free. Freedom is a state in which somebody is able to act or practice a skill acquired without being restricted. Sometime the master craftsman certifies that the apprentice is qualified to practice as a skilled artisan (Orji 2003). In a typical informal apprenticeship, freedom to fully practice independently comes after the master is convinced that the young trainee has acquired the required competence. The master grants permission for freedom or graduation for the young person to openly and legitimately practice the learnt trade (Orjinta 2007). It is no gain saying that the apprentice programme has contributed immensely to the Nigerian economy. It has provided training opportunities to many youths who would have become social nuisances to the public. The freedom of the apprentices enables them to function independently and may be successfully in the labour market.
Labour supply is the number of workers willing and able to work in a particular job or industry for a given wage or rate. According to Sanni and Alabi (2008) labour supply for artisans is the number or quantity of workers that would make themselves available at corresponding series of wages. Sanni and Alabi 2008 classified labour for electrical installation as comprising apprentice artisans. The most prominent means of skill acquisition for electrical installation industry in developing countries are through informal training on the job, apprenticeship and through vocational training schools (Agbola and Olaoye 2008). Empirical investigation by Agbola (2008) confirmed the inadequate supply of artisans in electrical industry in Nigeria and also lamented that there has been a decline in the rate of supply of electrical artisans as the avenue for training the artisans are few and with fewer number of artisans in the labour market, the wages available ones are demanding are increasingly high. The author regretted further that the quality of training from the existing trade centers need much to be desired as theory as opposed to practice is emphasized with the result that graduates from such institutions are not skilled and are not technically competent.
No matter the extent of training given to apprentices who graduate as artisans in electrical installation, if the training does not bring about self-reliance and productivity in the informal sector, then shortage of artisans for manpower development will continue to abound. Hence the needs for well trained, motivated, knowledgeable and skilled artisans that will effectively function in the field of electrical installation trade become very imperative. The training programme of electrical installation artisans will not only help in ensuring continuous usage of electrical appliances and gadgets by the society by offering prompt, effective maintenance services and installation activities as the case may be, they will also be gainfully employed or self-employed. Employment no doubt is one of the most vital instruments needed to speed off development and curb various societal menaces in Nigeria. The process of training apprentice right from admittance to graduation becomes the motive of this study which is to assess apprenticeship system and labour supply of electrical installation artisans in Enugu state.
Statement of the Problem
The 21st century technology has brought changes in electrical installation equipment/machines which necessitates an improvement in training and skills of electrical installation artisans so as to meet up with the trend in technological advancement. Electrical installation artisans are supposed to acquire and display with high level of confidence adequate knowledge and competence in every aspect of electrical installation, appliances and operation of modern equipment/machines for effective installation of equipment. Also the training environment of apprentice should be conducive enough with every training facilities being put in place to ensure that apprentice becomes enterprising and self-reliance economically.
Electrical appliances gained wide acceptance among people in the society. However these appliances are bound to breakdown from time to time especially with continuous use. In the event of any fault or new installation, competent electrical artisans are expected to handle the repairs of such faults or installations as the case may be. These artisans are supposed to be trained informally under apprenticeship system.
Unfortunately, there is inadequate number of competent electrical installation artisans that effectively service, install, troubleshoot and completely repair faulty electrical gadgets/equipment. This is attributed to the fact that many electrical artisans have not patiently acquired the knowledge and skills expected to function efficiently in the society. The deficient knowledge and skills may be due to high rate of risk and hazardous work environment, and lack of motivation and incentives during training and the use of obsolete training facilities which have made the artisans not to have a firm grasp of all it takes to offer effective service in the society. The problem that this study intends to tackle is the poor apprenticeship system and inadequate labour supply of electrical installation artisans in Enugu state.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to assess apprenticeship system and labour supply of electrical installation artisans in Enugu State.
Specifically the study ascertained:
- admittance modalities of apprentices
- attraction of apprentices for enrolment into apprenticeship
- rate of completion of apprentices
- motivation indices of apprentices in electrical installation
- adequacy of facilities for training apprentices
- instructional modalities for training of apprentices
- evaluation method of apprentices
- freedom modality of apprentices
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study is expected to be of immense benefit to master craftsmen in apprenticeship system and apprenticeship of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) administrators, apprentice, society, Government, Ministries of Trade and Industries and researchers. The findings of the study will be of benefit to master trainers in the apprenticeship system. They will use the information to organize workshop for training Artisans and trainers on the various effective instructional modalities to adopt for the improvement of electrical installation skills acquisition.
The findings of this study when published may be beneficial to NDE apprenticeship administrators as the information will guide them on admission modalities and enrolment of apprentices into their training scheme. This will also enable the training scheme to identify appropriate motivation induces, facilities for training and as a result the quality of instruction will be enhanced and the apprentices’ completion rate will be high. Furthermore, the result of the study will be of great value to apprentices of electrical installation who have been sceptical in undergoing training since the study will provide them with modalities, motivation indices that will help them become aware of the skills and activities required of them to meet the challenges in the apprenticeship system and be successful in their training and after their freedom.
The society will be beneficial of these findings after attending workshops as the improvement of electrical installation skills of the apprentices will provide the society with skilled, productive and enterprising artisans and craftsmen, whom the industries and companies will be willing to absorb, to make quality electrical installation products for technological growth. The study will be beneficial to Government. This is because information will be provided concerning the training practice of electrical installation apprenticeship, after attending conferences, will help them to formulate policies that would enhance the training of apprentices in electrical installation.
The ministries of trade and industries will also benefit after attending workshops because the information from this study will help them to device strategies for improving the quality of training in apprenticeship system. The ministry could grant them loans to acquire essential equipment for the training and enterprising, thereby boosting their output capabilities. This will also improve quality of training, their economic development and that of the country in general.
The information that will emanate from this study may stimulate future research efforts in other states of the federation after attending seminars. The results may have far reaching implications for national development in general. It will provide base data which will be of great help to those entrusted with National Planning for example; the study may help attract official assistance to apprenticeship in the informal sector of Nigeria by the federal government.
To guide this study the following research questions were formulated:
- What are the admittance modalities of apprentices?
- What is the attraction of apprentices to enrolment?
- What determines the rate of completion of apprentices?
- What are the motivation indices of apprentices in electrical installation?
- How adequate are the facilities for training apprentices
- What are the instructional modalities of apprentices?
- What is the evaluation method of apprentices?
- What is the freedom modality of apprentices?
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and to be tested at 0.05 significant level.
H01: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of early apprentices and late apprentices on the attraction of apprentices’ enrolment into apprenticeship system.
H02 : There is no significant difference in the mean responses of early apprentices and late apprentices on the training evaluation method that can improve skill acquisition in apprenticeships system.
H03: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of early apprentices and late apprentices on the instructional modality that can improve skills acquisition in apprenticeship system.
H04 : There is no significant difference in the mean responses of early apprentices and late apprentices on motivation indices of apprentices that can improve skills acquisition in apprenticeship system.