- Employers are finding success with modern apprenticeships, according to a new report from Institute for WorkPlace Skills & Innovation America (IWSI).
- With U.S. employers reporting challenges finding skilled workers, many are adopting programs that combine classroom learning and on-the-job training. Employers such as Mailchimp, Adobe and CVS Health have demonstrated the effectiveness and versatility of apprenticeships in fields such as health care, cybersecurity and engineering, according to the report.
- Workers seem to be benefiting as well: The average starting wage for apprentices is more than $60,000, IWSI said, and apprentices mostly complete programs debt-free.
A majority of adults believe an apprenticeship program has a better chance of landing them a job than a four-year degree, a recent American Staffing Association survey revealed. From the food industry to insurance, apprentice programs are emerging as a way for employers to train employees and generate a talent pipeline.
Apprenticeships are nothing new, of course, but companies today are looking past the traditional trade-oriented offerings to develop programs in unexpected disciplines, like cybersecurity. Employers are increasingly developing structured, work-based learning programs.
Apprenticeships are seeing a push from the Trump administration, too, with funding and discussion groups planning initiatives to update these avenues to employment.
Colleges are taking note. For instance, a $217,000 grant from a manufacturing industry and research group is helping four community colleges in Connecticut add a two-year apprenticeship program in advanced robotics that will feed into a four-year degree. And a community college in North Carolina received nearly $200,000 from Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas for on-the-job training.
The nursing industry has also taken up the model to help nurses earn bachelor's degrees.
Apprenticeships can be a particularly effective way for students to learn and can help connect them with post-graduation employment and lead to higher lifetime earnings, according to The Aspen Institute, which notes there is growing federal, state and local support for the model.