Move Over, Internships: Apprenticeships On the Rise

Take the first step toward getting an apprenticeship.

By Kathryn Knight Randolph

September 21, 2015

Move Over, Internships: Apprenticeships On the Rise Move Over, Internships: Apprenticeships On the Rise

You may hear the word “apprentice” and think it an antiquated practice – or a show on NBC formerly hosted by Donald Trump – but the word is taking on new meaning now. The U.S. Department of Labor is working hard to not only bring the term “apprentice” back but the practice as well. Through grants and campaigning, the end goal is to inspire formal apprenticeships that help to motivate, educate and prepare future generations.

The Obama administration has been pushing the idea of apprenticeships along with America’s College Promise – a policy that would provide free community college to all eligible students across the country. This year, the administration launched the American Apprenticeship grant competition, which would award 46 applicants, that are businesses hoping to begin apprenticeship programs, approximately $175 million.

Their task is simple: create and run apprenticeship programs to help shape the next generation of workers. Through the American Apprenticeship grant competition, 34,000 applicants will have the opportunity to get paid to learn how to perform a job in a variety of fields like healthcare, IT and manufacturing.

But the initiative for the creation of apprenticeships doesn’t just stop there. The first full week of November this year will be devoted to bringing awareness and action to apprenticeship programs through National Apprenticeship Week. That week, companies all over the country will host special events that showcase their apprentice programs. It will give other employers a chance to see how apprentice-friendly businesses operate their program, and it will give future apprentices a glimpse into what it’s like to receive on-the-job training and education as well as potential outcomes throughout that particular career.

Apprenticeships don’t just look good on paper; they have proven results. The White House states that 87% of apprentices are offered full-time jobs upon completion of a program with an average starting salary of $50,000. Employers benefit as well; studies have shown that an apprenticeship program yields $1.47 in returns for every dollar spent. Apprentices help companies be more productive, reduce waste and innovate.

For more information on National Apprenticeship Week, which falls between November 2 – 8, and an event near you, check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.

If you’ve completed a successful apprenticeship, feel free to share your story in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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