The workforce, as we know it, is everchanging and advancing. The degrees students can attain in college can provide them with knowledge and facts, however, many students graduate college with a lack of experience in their desired career field. Apprenticeships are the connecting liaison between young workers and their desired career field. Apprenticeships connect education and work simultaneously, as they combine on-the-job training by employers and job-related instruction met by national skills standards (U.S. Department of Labor). Unlike an internship, in which an intern works for credit or little to no money and receives minimal training in the desired career field, an apprenticeship follows an earn-while-you-learn model and grants workers with a nationally recognized credential that they can take to employers. The basic components of an apprenticeship program include structured on-the-job training, business involvement, related instruction, rewards for skill gains, and nationally recognized credential. When an apprenticeship is nearing its end, apprentices earn industry-recognized credentials, and in many cases, can receive college credits that may count toward an associate or bachelor’s degree.

An apprenticeship is for everyone. Traditional industries include construction and manufacturing, however, apprenticeships are becoming instrumental in growing industries such as health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, and energy. The concept of a formal paid training program, such as an apprenticeship, can be applied to almost any career field. Countries, such as England, have expanded the occupational reach so that new apprentices can choose programs in the service sectors, including business administration and retail.

Apprenticeships benefit employers, workers, and the workforce system. Businesses can develop and train highly skilled workers and directly recruit them. In fact, the retention rate for apprentices is 91 percent after nine months of working. Employers can customize their training to directly meet the needs of the business and enhance productivity instead of assuming that workers are taught a specific skill in college or having to take time to teach the skills. Through this on-the-job training, apprentices are constantly learning from their mentors and through standardized education courses. The apprentice will enter the workforce with an increased amount of knowledge and skills that can only be learned on-sight. Employers also develop a systematic training approach that ensures employees are trained to produce at the highest skill levels required for the occupation (U.S. Department of Labor).

When workers enter the workforce after their apprenticeship with their newly acquired skills, knowledge, and training, the workforce can flourish. The workforce system benefits from apprenticeships because businesses can thrive when they offer these programs, and, in turn, the economy thrives. Workers also can maintain stable careers and wages through the program. When an apprentice begins the apprenticeship program, he or she is employed and is likely to stay with the business who offered the program.

Lastly, apprenticeships can benefit workers through hands-on training, a career, education, and national credential. A worker learns through on-the-job training, not simply by reading a textbook. The worker can better comprehend the ins and outs of not only the specific business’s standards but industry standards, too. Through trial and error, workers will get their hands dirty and gain real-world experience. An apprentice is employed the moment he or she begins the apprenticeship. The apprentice is part of the workforce and has the duties of all other working citizens, preparing the worker for his or her future and providing an income, as the average wage is $15 an hour for apprenticeships. An apprentice is also provided with an education, as his or her skills are strengthened, and knowledge is enhanced. An apprentice can receive credits for the apprenticeship and apply them toward an associate or bachelor’s degree without having to attain student loans. An apprentice also receives national credentials when he or she graduates from a career training program. The apprentice will earn a certified portable credential accepted by industries and employers across the U.S.

If you are an employer interested in starting an apprenticeship program, contact info@apprenticeshipamerica.com. There cannot be an apprenticeship without an employer, as employers inspire the designs of apprenticeship programs. Contact us today to start changing the lives of workers and make a positive impact on your business.