What Is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a long-standing model that combines paid on-the-job learning and formal classroom instruction to help a worker master the knowledge and skills needed for career success. The value of apprenticeship and the reason it remains relevant centuries after its creation is rooted in the many ways this simple model can be applied to meet the specific needs of many employers and a wide variety of industries.

Apprenticeship programs vary in length, with apprentices receiving a mix of structured on-the-job work experience with an employer as well as relevant academic and technical instruction, often through partnerships with local two- and four-year colleges, organized labor, or other training partners. At the heart of successful apprenticeship programs are robust public-private partnerships that bring together a mix of organizations including businesses, employer and industry associations, education providers, labor-management groups, state and local workforce development agencies, workforce investment boards, community groups, and economic development organizations.

As more and more employers across a variety of industries face increasingly complex workforce challenges in a competitive global economy, many are considering apprenticeship for the first time. It’s happening in health care, financial services, and information technology, among others. For some, an aging, highly skilled, and experienced workforce puts a premium on attracting new and more diverse talent. Others continue to search for proven training strategies that can keep pace with industry advancements. Even when companies find the workers they need, developing the capacity to upskill current employees remains out of reach for too many. These challenges don’t just impact employers; they limit opportunities for workers and hold back economic growth at all levels. Apprenticeship is a proven solution to address these and many more workforce issues while delivering an incredible return on investment. 

We believe in the power of employer participation in education and training to build their future pipeline of skilled workers. Applied learning—in the workplace—enhances academic instruction and better prepares workers for careers. Engaging more employers to provide real-world work experiences to students and workers will strengthen our nation’s workforce while providing employers the skilled workers they need to grow and compete.

See how others have benefited from this proven approach and learn how registered apprenticeship can work for you.

Youth Apprenticeship

There is a growing movement of youth apprenticeship taking place across the nation in both registered apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and other forms of rigorous work-based learning. Through a coordinated effort involving business and industry, youth apprenticeship addresses the dual role of preparing students for the world of work and providing employers with a highly skilled workforce. More employers in places like Colorado, Maryland, North Carolina, Kentucky, are offering high school students the opportunities, as never before, to earn and learn as youth apprentices. Businesses, workforce professionals, educators, and others are looking to pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship as an effective way to start high school students and other youth on a career pathway that leads to good jobs and good wages, while providing local employers with the skilled pipeline of workers for the future.

See how JFF can help with youth apprenticeship programs.