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Registered Apprenticeships: The Basics

Stephanie Bachman on Apr 7, 2017 3:47:00 PM

apprentice1-3.jpgIn the world of current events, businesses today are confronted with a skills gap that leaves them without the qualified workers they need. This has negative effects on their company as they need functioning and knowledgeable professionals to help manage the inner workings of their businesses.

Recently, Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT) partnered with the State Department of Labor to promote Registered Apprenticeships, programs designed to provide work for individuals and help companies retain skilled workers to help offset this skills gap.

What is Registered Apprenticeship?

Registered Apprenticeships differ from Apprenticeships only in that their apprentices receive a nationally recognized credential approved by the federal government after their training. Essentially, businesses hire unskilled workers, or apprentices, who receive hands-on training from an experienced mentor for at least a year. While that apprentice trains, they also take related instruction classes to further their knowledge in the field.

When the business hires the apprentice, initially they are paid less than the average worker. But as they progress and their skills increase, so do their wages. This gives incentives for the apprentice to develop their skills, and provides the company with a worker who is being tailored to meet the position’s unique qualifications.

What are the benefits?

The benefits that come from the collaboration between companies and apprentices are many. Chris Haslinger from the United Association of Journeymen & Apprentices said,

“As apprentices become journeymen, they take pride in the hard work they’ve put in, and they understand the importance of passing the knowledge and skills they’ve developed on to the next generation of apprentices that come behind them. That’s what Registered Apprenticeship is all about.” 

This helps ensure that the skilled workers of today have a desire to pass on what they’ve learned to a future generation. It also has the potential to create a continuous flow of workers into many diverse fields and help curb the skills gap.

Another benefit is the retention rate. The retention rate of companies hiring the apprentice once their year is finished is at a high 91%. This is profitable for both the apprentice and the company, as the apprentice develops tailored skills for a job and the company gains an employee who understand how their business works. The company’s investment in the apprentice’s development also increases loyalty as that apprentice gains skills from the company itself.

The Future of Registered Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are quite popular in Germany. The country’s youth unemployment rates are lowest in all of Europe at 7%. This is compared to the Unites States, whose youth unemployment rates are estimated to be around 10% and reached all-time highs at nearly 20% in April of 2010.

Based on these statistics, it is considered great news that the popularity of apprenticeships is increasing across the Unites States. Apprenticeship strategies provide help for both the company and the employee, work for large and small businesses, and aid in community growth and economic development over time.

The U.S. federal government views the Registered Apprenticeships in such high regard that it intends to expand the program and anticipates seeing apprentice numbers jump from 500,000 to 750,000 in the next two years.

CEWT supports and promotes Registered Apprenticeship programs and wants to help the communities throughout our region by providing information to get companies and businesses started. For anyone interested in learning more, contact Paul Dickey at the Continuing Education and Workforce Training office at (208) 282-1077 or email pdickey@isu.edu.

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