State Policies that Could Promote Apprenticeship

idea light bulbIn response to growing concerns among employers and economists that the United States faces a looming shortage of skilled workers, policymakers across the country are taking a new look at an old idea. Apprenticeship—the time-tested worker-training model that combines on-the-job training with classroom-based instruction—is gaining traction as a possible solution to America’s workforce training and development challenges. From Iowa to South Carolina toVermont, state governments are making important new investments in this critical training program.

As we illustrate in “Training for Success: A Policy to Expand Apprenticeships in the United States,” apprenticeships help businesses meet their demand for skilled workers while offering workers higher wages and better employment outcomes. Although young people around the world enter the labor market through apprenticeships, the training model is relatively underused in the United States. Thus far, lack of awareness and misperceptions among both businesses and workers have prevented the formation of a more robust U.S. apprenticeship system. However, this could be changing.

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