Strengthening and Expanding Apprenticeships in the United States
Apprenticeships provide individuals with on-the-job training and contextualized learning. For over 80 years, US DOL has overseen the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) system, in partnership with State Apprenticeship Agencies. Today there are about 22,000 RAs across the U.S. These resources analyze the cost and benefits of RAs from a business lens, explore ways to better align apprenticeships with education programs, and offer strategies that workforce boards and stakeholders can use to expand RAs.
Connecting Secondary Career and Technical Education and Registered Apprenticeship: A Profile of Six State Systems. 2016. This report analyzes the links between career and technical education (CTE) and RA programs in Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Washington. Interviewed program administrators identify insufficient resources, a lack of awareness about RA programs, and employer concerns about liability as some challenges in creating programs that align CTE with RA. The report outlines strategies to address these challenges. One strategy suggests that state agencies build strong partnerships and leverage “existing resources and infrastructure to support system alignment efforts” that can be supported with “state legislation and policies that promote apprenticeship as an option for students.”
The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships: A Business Perspective. 2016. This study examines the motivation for and costs of implementing RA programs among 13 businesses and intermediaries, using information from site visits and interviews. The study finds that “companies most often turned to apprenticeships because they could not find labor that met their minimum standards.” The study also quantifies the benefits of apprenticeship programs for two companies by analyzing internal production data. For one of the companies, the “program nearly paid for itself within the first year and had an internal rate of return of at least 40 percent.”
The State of Apprenticeship Among Workforce Boards. 2017. This report presents results from a national survey on the current strategies and existing needs of workforce boards trying to expand apprenticeship programs. It also recommends eight investments to help workforce boards support and advance apprenticeship activities in their local region. One recommendation is that stakeholders “provide a centralized hub that is trusted by workforce boards to disseminate existing publications and tools, with a focus on the topics requested by workforce boards and included throughout this brief.”