Apprenticeships are common today – they’re a way for young people to learn a trade whilst actually doing the job. Usually it involves a mix of hands-on experience and studying. These days, apprentices must be paid for the work they do. You can be an apprentice if you’re over 16 years old – and by law you have to be at school until then. Apprenticeships in Victorian times were different for a few reasons; the first is that those taking up apprenticeships were much younger.