Day 76 – Retooling Americas Workforce

Thirdway.org article: Apprenticeship America: An Idea to Reinvent Postsecondary Skills for the Digital Age.The main shortcoming of US postsecondary education is this: Too few workers are being trained for good-paying, middle-skill jobs. A crisis of human capital today is keeping millions of Americans from the opportunity to earn a good life. Employers’ growing demand for skilled, well-paid workers is unmet, because postsecondary education is not sufficiently connected to the modern workplace. It is an industrial-era model failing to deliver in the digital age. Infographic.

Middle-skill jobs are not an isolated segment of the jobs market. Rather, they include 251 occupations, ranging from acute care nurses (earning $70,000 a year) to wind turbine service technicians (earning $54,000 a year). These jobs make up 53% of jobs in the United States, but only 43% of the country’s workers are trained at the middle-skill level. Considering that there is an oversupply of low-skilled workers—21% of the workforce relative to 16% of jobs—it’s clear that educating more people at the middle-skill level would spread more opportunity to more people.

In other developed economies, such as France, Scotland, Germany, and England, apprenticeships are a consistent and dependable portion of job pipelines. In Switzerland, for example, 70% of all students choose apprenticeships and 30% of companies participate.

Apprenticehip.gov is the one-stop source to connect career seekers, employers, and education partners with apprenticeship resources. Discover apprenticeships across industries, how programs are started by employers, and how to become an apprentice. There are five key components of an apprenticeship. These components differentiate apprenticeships from other types of workplace training programs in several ways:

  1. PAID JOB – Apprenticeships are jobs! Apprentices earn a competitive wage from their employers during training
  2. WORK-BASED LEARNING – Programs provide structured on-the-job learning to prepare for a successful career
  3. CLASSROOM LEARNING – Apprentices are provided classroom instruction on the critical aspects of their careers
  4. CREDENTIALS – Apprentices earn a portable, nationally-recognized credential within their industry
  5. MENTORSHIP – Apprentices receive on-the-job learning under the instruction of an experienced mentor

The length of an apprenticeship program can vary depending on the employer, complexity of the occupation, industry, and type of program. 94% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program retain employment, with an average annual salary of $70,000.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)Apprenticeships: Outlook and wages in selected occupations. In fiscal year 2018, Department of Labor (DOL) counted about 585,000 active apprentices in more than 23,000 registered apprenticeship programs across the country.

U.S. Department of Labor: The Department announced awards totaling $183.8 million to support the development and expansion of apprenticeships for educational institutions partnering with companies that provide a funding match component. The Department will also make available an additional $100 million for efforts to expand apprenticeships and close the skills gap.

NPR: It Pays To Be An Apprentice: 63% More (referring to FAME Graduates)

It was difficult to find a non-profit organization that helps generate internship opportunities since most are commercial or government sponsored and interns are paid. The best I found was Pay Our Interns which was founded in 2016 and led by two formerly unpaid interns of color. NBC News Report. There is no Charity Navigator profile on the company.