This chapter concerns with early stages of professionalization, i.e. professionalization in the preceding process of political recruitment. It refers to the 'change in recruitment patterns of the legislative elite'. According to Cotta and Best, professionalised political recruitment contains both a social and a political dimension. Whereas the former might imply typical social characteristics such as coming from a political family, the latter represents the growing importance of political status in recruitment. The chapter argues that professionalization implies a personal aspect that relates to the adaptation of an individual to his or her potential functions as a local elected representative. It is embodied by councillors' ambition or motivational system. The chapter also argues that party politics is a fundamental apprenticeship for a substantial part of the councillor population in each country of the study. Finally, it deals with the questions of activation and apprenticeship in European local government.