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Idea of the Day: Why Apprenticeships are Good for Business

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idea light bulbEmployers are increasingly worried about finding and holding on to quality, skilled workers and economists warn of a widening skills gap. What are employers to do? Apprenticeship—that age-old worker-training model that pairs on-the-job training with classroom instruction—just may be the solution to employers’ woes.

According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, the United States is expected to face a shortage of 5 million workers who are equipped with technical certificates and credentials. At the same time, about half of U.S. executives at large companies say they are likely to have fewer skilled workers than they need in the short term of the next one to two years. Not surprisingly, employee retention is also a top concern for businesses that compete in the tightening market for skilled workers.

Apprenticeship is a time-tested approach to training and developing skilled labor. In the United States, a formal system of registered apprenticeship is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. Companies register their program with the department’s Office of Apprenticeship, and, in return, the government issues a nationally recognized certificate to workers at the company who complete an apprenticeship.

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This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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