Famous Apprentices You Never Knew

Mar 23, 2021

Famous Apprentices May Be The Proof You Needed That An Apprenticeship Is for YOU!

Have you been considering taking an apprenticeship but didn’t know what it could lead to? Well, let’s clear that up!

Model of Leonardo Da Vinci's flying machine

Apprenticeships have been around for centuries and predate any formal colleges or universities. “The Code of Hammurabi of Babylon, which dates from the 18th century BCE, required artisans to teach their crafts to the next generation.” (Britannica.com)

The industrial revolution placed formal rules and laws upon the practice, and the system became mainstream for skilled trades around the beginning of the 20th Century. In more recent times, apprenticeships became common for tradesmen, while colleges and universities took over the training for technology roles. Now, the system is changing again as the government approves more apprenticeships, college tuition continues to rise, and many universities fail to fully prepare graduates for a role in the field.


The Technology Apprenticeship Program (TAP) at Tech One IT allows technology graduates the opportunity to work in exciting roles – sometimes with tech start-ups, sometimes with Fortune 500 companies – giving them hands-on experience and highly-coveted brand names to list on their resume. These roles are rarely offered to graduates, but TAP is successful in part because we provide a mentor program that adds additional help and takes some of the responsibility off the hiring firm.


So, now you could follow in the footsteps of these famous apprentices:


Leonardo Da Vinci


Da Vinci was apprenticed at age fifteen as a painter and sculptor. The apprenticeship was a huge offer to the boy who would not have had many opportunities as an illegitimate child. He was apprenticed to Verrocchio, who had studied under Donatello, and served as an official sculptor to the ruling Medici family. (Sparknotes.com).

As in many apprenticeships, Da Vinci was introduced to important members of his society and provided training in the artistic methods that brought him fame.


Henry Ford


The son of a prosperous farming family, Ford left home at 16 to complete a machinist’s apprenticeship in Dearborn, Michigan. He returned after three years and continued to work on the farm while still taking jobs in factories and fixing steam engines. (History.com)


“In 1891, he returned with (his wife) Clara to Detroit, where he was hired as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company.” (History.com) During this time, Ford was on call 24-hours each day but continued to work on his ideas for the automobile.


Henry Ford – like many of our own apprentices – was tenacious and extremely diligent. His Model T took longer than many backers expected because Ford “was dedicated to the production of an efficient and reliable automobile that would be affordable for everyone.” This dedication led to more orders than anticipated, and Ford went on to change the face of American industry by creating a production line that would be used even today.


Terry Matthews


Terry Matthews is a serial technology entrepreneur and billionaire. After completing an apprenticeship at British Telecom in the 1960s and 1970s, he went on to found Mitel, a technology consultancy company that developed various telecommunications and microprocessors that were cheaper than anything else on the market.


“Mitel became one of the more successful manufacturers of small PBX systems and telecom semiconductors in the world, floating on the New York Stock Exchange in 1981.” (Wikipedia.org)


Many years after completing his apprenticeship with them, British Telecom purchased Terry Matthews company. He went on to found other companies and even purchased Mitel back. In 2018, Searchlight Capital Partners bought Mitel for $2B. (Mitel.com)


John Caudwell


John Caudwell, #836 on Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, left high school to become an apprentice at Michelin. He completed the apprenticeship, earning a certificate in mechanical engineering.


With his brother, Caudwell began selling mobile phones, and six years later, started the cell service provider Singlepoint, which later sold to Vodafone for $650 million. According to Forbes.com, “Caudwell pumped his share of the money into Phones 4u, which grew into the U.K.’s largest independent mobile phone retailer.” Three years later, Caudwell sold the majority of his share for $2.8B.


Ross Brawn


“Ross James Brawn OBE is a British Formula One managing director, motorsports and technical director. He is a former motorsport engineer and Formula One team principal and has worked for a number of Formula One teams.” (Wikipedia.org)


Ross Brawn completed an apprenticeship in Engineering at the UK Atomic Energy Authority in Harwell, becoming a Trainee Engineer. He went on to become a leader for multiple winning racing teams, working with legends like Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, and Jenson Button.


Brawn owned stakes in some of the world’s leading Formula One teams throughout his career and earned his reputation as an excellent engineer, a great manager of teams, and an admirable businessman.



Apprenticeships are available for most professions, including technology, engineering, research & development, and even artistic roles like painting, fashion, cooking, and acting. The simple fact is that an apprenticeship provides more than just an opportunity to get on-the-job training. The mentorship it offers and the doors that open as a result, can set you on a successful career path that could lead to greatness. If you’re interested in our apprenticeship program, get in touch now!


View Open Jobs Here: Careers | Learn About TAP: Technology Apprenticeship Program | Email Us: Contact@techoneit.com | Call Us: 480-449-3333


View Open Jobs Here: Careers | Learn About TAP: Technology Apprenticeship Program |

Email Us: Contact@techoneit.com | Call Us: 480-449-3333

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According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers:


Nearly 91 percent of employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey prefer that their candidates have work experience. (www.naceweb.org) 


An apprenticeship could be the best way to get your foot in the door with a good company and gather the necessary experience while also getting paid. But many apprenticeships are simply set up by companies without experience to run such a program. Apprentices may come out with experience to write on their resume, but many leave feeling duped and discouraged. 


How can you tell if the apprenticeship program you are considering is valid and worthwhile? 

You will be working with other apprentices.

If you are the only person being hired for the project, it isn’t an apprenticeship program. There may be times when you are working apart from other apprentices, and you could be tested with tasks of your own, but the entire program will have more than one apprentice. 


The benefit of working with other apprentices is that you can collaborate and learn from one another. At Tech One IT, we strive to build a friendly environment for our apprentices so that, even when working alone, they can lean on one another for support. This is an easier transition into the workforce from college and has proven much more beneficial to our apprentices than their peers that were hired directly. 


You will work with a mentor, or at least in a group managed by an experienced employee. 


An apprenticeship is a full-time job working within a team. The difference between an apprenticeship and a full-time job is the purpose. An apprentice’s purpose is to learn from mentors and peers (i.e., other apprentices). They will complete their apprenticeship with an understanding of workplace culture, knowledge of different processes, and organizational skills that are never taught but just expected of a direct hire. 


At no point should you be taking the place of an experienced full-time employee. If you don’t feel like you are getting the full benefits of your apprenticeship, contact us: Contact@TechOneIT.com.


There is an end date.


An apprenticeship is a long-term project. It has an end date and comes with no guarantee of a full-time job upon completion. 


Why take an apprenticeship without the guarantee of a job? 

You never have a guarantee of a job, regardless of how you are hired!


The Tech One IT apprentices work for some of the nation’s most exciting companies, sometimes Fortune 100 companies and sometimes small start-ups. Imagine coming straight out of college and working on an IT project for a Fortune 100 company. That’s not an opportunity given to many. 

You won’t be asked to do tasks outside of your scope.


Most direct hires that land a job straight out of college find themselves completing tasks that are outside their field. When I graduated with a Master’s in Communication, I was hired by a Fortune 100 company to write their training manuals. I actually spent much of my time packing boxes full of those training manuals and booking hotels for sales managers attending training seminars. 


At Tech One IT, we work closely with our clients to set up apprenticeship programs that benefit our apprentices and use their skills. Sure, there will be an element of work that falls outside of your training in every job, like reporting, but you will not find yourself packing boxes! 


The program is certified.


Tech ONe IT is a certified apprenticeship program. We have a Registered Apprenticeship Program validated by the Department of Labor and the State of Arizona. 


By earning these certifications, we can work with the nation’s fastest-growing companies and set up new programs all across the country. 

Apprenticeship programs are usually partnered with Universities, Colleges, and Trade Schools.


Apprenticeship programs benefit students and employers, so it only makes sense that a valid apprenticeship program would partner with local schools to reach the students. Tech One IT has outstanding relationships with Arizona State University, as well as several local colleges. 


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