APPRENTICESHIP. A contract by which one person who understands some art, trade, or business, and is called the master, under takes to teach the same to another person, commonly a minor, and called the appren tice, who, on his part, is bound to serve the master, during a definite period of time, in such art, trade, or business.
The term during which an apprentice is to serve. Pardessus, Droit Comm. n. 34.
A contract of apprenticeship Is not invalid because the master to whom the apprentice is bound is a corporation ;  1 Q. B. 75.
At common law, an infant may bind him self apprentice by indenture, because it is for his benefit ; 5 M. & S. 257; 5 D. & R. 339. But this contract, both in England and in the United States, on account of its liability to abuse, has been regulated by statute, and is not binding upon the infant unless entered into by him with the consent of the parent or guardian (the father, if both parents be alive, being the proper party to such consent; Com. v. Crommie, 8 W. & S. [Pa.] 339), or by the parent and guardian for him, with his consent, such consent to be made a part of the contract; 2 Kent 261; Matter of M'Dowle, 8 Johns. (N. Y.) 328 ; Whitmore v. Whitcomb, 43 Me. 458; Balch v. State, 12 N. H. 437; Pierce v. Massen burg, 4 Leigh (Va.) 493, 26 Am. Dec. 333 ; Harney v. Owen, 4 Blackf. (Ind.) 337, 30 Am. Dec. 662; or, if the infant be a pauper, by the proper authorities without his consent ; Com. v. Jones, 3 S. & R. (Pa.) 158; Vinal haven v. Ames, 32 Me. 299; Baker v. Win frey, 15 B. Monr. (Ky.) 499; Glidden v. Town of Unity, 30 N. H. 104 ; Brewer v. Harris, 5 Graft. (Va.) 285. The contract need not specify the particular trade to be taught, but is sufficient if it be a contract to teach such manual occupation or branch of busi ness as shall be found best suited to the genius or capacity of the apprentice ; Fowl er v. Hollenbeck, 9 Barb. (N. Y.) 309; Peo ple v. Pillow, 1 Sandf. (N. Y.) 672. Where the apprentice is bound to accept employ ment only from the master, but there is no covenant by the latter to provide employ ment, and the contract may be terminated only by him, it Is invalid as being unreason able and not for the benefit of the infant ; 45 Ch. Div. 430. In a common indenture of apprenticeship the father is bound for the performance of the covenants by the son; 3 B. & Ald. 59. But to an action of covenant against the father for the desertion of the son, it is a sufficient answer that the master has abandoned the trade which the son was apprenticed to learn, or that he has driven the son away by cruel treatment; 4 Eng. L. & Eq. 412; Coffin v. Bassett, 2 Pick. (Mass.) 357.
This contract must generally be entered into by indenture or deed ; 4 M. & S. 383; Cora. v. Wilbank, 10 S. & R. (Pa.) 416; Squire v. Whipple, 1 Vt. 69 ; and is to con tinue, if the apprentice be a male, only dur ing minority, and if a female, only until she arrives at the age of eighteen; 2 Kent 264; 5 Term 715. An apprenticeship other than one entered into by indenture in conformity with the statute is not binding; Lally v. Cantwell, 40. Mo. App. 44. The English stat ute law has been generally adopted in the United States, with some variations; 2 Kent 264.
An infant's deed of apprenticeship under the English Employers and Workmen Act of 1875, will not bind him unless reasonable and for his benefit; but this does not mean as to all its terms, since provision for sus pension of wages during a lockout, due solely to the master, is bad ;  1 Q. B. 310 ; but one confined to stoppage by reason of accident beyond control of master is good;  2 Q. B. 1.
The duties of the master are to instruct the apprentice by teaching him the edge of the art which he has undertaken to teach him, though he will be excused for not making a good workman if the appren tice is incapable of learning the trade, the burden of proving which is on the master; Barger v. Caldwell, 2 Dana (Ky.) 131; Clan cy v. Overman, 18 N. C. 402. He ought to watch over the conduct of the apprentice, giving him prudent advice and showing him a good example, and fulfilling towards him the duties of a father, as in his character of master he stands in loco parentis. He is also required to fulfil all the covenants he has entered into by the indenture. He must not abuse his authority, either by bad treat ment or by employing his apprentice in menial employments wholly unconnected with the business he has to learn, or in any service which is immoral or contrary to law; 4 Clark & F. 234; Hall v. Gardner, 1 Mass. 172 ; but may correct him with moderation for negligence and misbehavior ; Com. v. Baird, 1 Ashm. (Pa.) 267; 4 Keb. 661, pl. 50; People v. Sniffen, 1 Wheel. Cr. Cas. (N. Y.) 502. He cannot dismiss his apprentice ex cept by consent of all the parties to the in denture; Graham v. Graham, 1 S. & R. (Pa.) 330 ; Nickerson v. Easton, 12 Pick. (Mass.) 110 ; 2 Burr. 766, 801; or with the sanction of some competent tribunal; Powers V. Ware, 2 Pick. (Mass.) 451; Warner v. Smith, 8 Conn. 14; Carmand v. Wall, 1 Bail. (S. C.) 209 ; even though the apprentice should steal his master's property, or by reason of incur able illness become incapable of service, the covenants of the master and apprentice being independent; Powers v. Ware, 2 Pick. (Mass.) 451; 2 Dowl. & R. 465; 1 B. & C. 460; 5 Q. B. 447. If the apprentice proves to be an habitual thief, he may be properly dismissed ;  1 Q. B. 431. The master cannot remove the apprentice out of the state under the laws of which he was ap prenticed, unless such removal is provided for in the contract or may be implied from its nature; and if be do so remove him, the contract ceases to be obligatory ; Com. v. Edwards, 6 Binn. (Pa.) 202 ; Cora. v. Dea con, 6 S. & R. (Pa.) 526 ; Coffin v. Bassett, 2 Pick. (Mass.) 357 ; Vickere v. Pierce, 12 Me. 315 ; Walters v. Morrow, 1 Houst. (Del.) 527. An infant apprentice is not capable in law of consenting to his own discharge ; 3 B. & C. 484; nor can the justices order money to be returned on the discharge of an apprentice; Stra. 69; contra, Salk. 67, 68, 490; 11 Mod. 110; 12 id. 498, 553. After the apprenticeship is at an end, the master cannot retain the apprentice on the ground that he has not fulfilled his contract, unless specially authorized by statute.