Skills development is fundamental in improving employability and productivity. However, education and training systems often leave a gap and are unable to equip students with adequate skills to fulfill the demands of the modern workplace. The resulting skills mismatch has negative effects on individuals, companies, and society as a whole since we are not fully utilizing existing human capital. Thus, placing constraints on economic growth as well as opportunities that generate jobs, improve poverty, and allow for better living conditions.
Apprenticeships are recognized as one of the most effective methods for acquiring skills relevant to the market demand for individuals that are starting at an entry-level in the labor market. Training and working conditions for apprentices are designed to be better suited to the needs of younger individuals.
Internship vs. Apprenticeship
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a Registered Apprenticeship Program and internships are one and the same. However, internships often, at times, are unpaid, informal, and do not necessarily lead to a direct career pathway– they are more of an experience to get a feel of a job or industry. Registered Apprenticeships, however, are full-time employment opportunities that include on-the-job training as well as classroom instructions. Pay increments that are based on skills progress, as well as a nationally recognized credential at the end of the program, are some of the benefits of a Registered Apprenticeship.
Benefits of Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are developing a new generation workforce that will help the nation succeed in the 21st-century economy. Apprenticeship programs are vital for employers since they help:
Recruit and develop highly-skilled and specialized employees that help grow a business.
Improve the overall productivity, profitability, and ultimately the employer’s bottom line.
Create flexible training options that will ensure that workers are able to develop the right skills.
Minimize liability costs through vital and appropriate training of workers involved.
Businesses receive tax credits and employee tuition benefits in the various participating states.
Employee retention is increased during and following the course of the apprenticeship.
Top 5 Apprenticeship Programs
New Jersey Apprenticeship Program
The state of New Jersey has a designated office of apprenticeship. The New Jersey Apprenticeship Network operates to increase apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities in the Garden State so that residents are able to benefit by participating in an ecosystem that will provide multiple years of economic support as well as occupational skills training which will ultimately lead to sustainable wages and upward mobility. By the end of the business program, apprentices will know how to start an LLC in NJ and will be well equipped to get their business off the ground.
Trades Council of California, State Building and Construction
The Trades Council of CA provides opportunities that will equip participants with an edge in understanding their crafts and gaining safety certificates—ultimately allowing them to be able to prepare for a successful apprenticeship through strong electoral, legislative, and educational programs that keep work flowing while promoting good wages and benefits and ensuring the safety and healthy working conditions for those in the industry.
CareerWise works closely with the school districts to comprehensively create the framework for an applied-learning ecosystem that meets the standards of the state. They recruit students and ensure apprentice work and school schedules have been optimized– they act as an intermediary to provide an efficient and streamlined experience.
Delaware Pathways to Apprenticeships
This non-profit organization seeks to end intergenerational poverty by allowing access to opportunities for apprenticeships in the building trades that will lead to lucrative middle-class careers. Individuals are recruited for the program from low-income communities-including, including the formerly incarcerated, individuals on public assistance, and those who live in public housing. Accepted individuals are then able to succeed in construction union apprentice programs in the state.
Georgia DOE, Youth Apprenticeship Program
Through a coordinated initiative involving business and industry, Youth Apprenticeship combines the dual role of preparing scholars for the working world and providing the state of Georgia with a technologically competitive and highly skilled workforce. The program empowers students to receive their high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate or degree, as well as a certification of industry-recognized competencies, which is pertinent to employment in a high-skilled profession.
Apprenticeships help students gain both theoretical and practical knowledge at the same time and allow the labor force to be equipped with highly skilled individuals who have a deep-rooted knowledge of their field.