The ongoing labor shortage could get a boost from a tried-and-true practice. Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) shared it’s exploring the provision of federal funds toward apprenticeships to help get people across the U.S. back to work.
In use since for hundreds of years, apprenticeships are a way to prepare a future workforce through education and on-the-job training. While apprenticeships have traditionally been applied toward more trade-related industries such as manufacturing, carpentry, electrician, construction, and plumbing. The DOL envisions expanding the apprenticeship approach to include job options in the healthcare and technology fields.
Types of Apprenticeships
- Time-based: Measured by the number of hours an apprentice spends on the job and in the classroom.
- Competency-based: Measurement of an apprentice’s progress based on one’s ability to demonstrate the application of relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities.
- Hybrid model: Progress calculated through a combination of hours spent in the apprentice program and the competencies demonstrated in the workplace.
The DOL apprenticeship program will fund job training and education, allowing apprentices to spend a percentage of their time doing classroom learning during traditional work hours. The embrace of apprenticeship programs could also be a steppingstone for those looking to change jobs or industries, particularly among those reassessing personal and work priorities post-pandemic.
94% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship program retain employment with an average annual salary of $70,000, according to the DOL. 349,000+ participants have completed an apprenticeship in the last five years and more than 13,000 new apprenticeship programs have also been created in the last five years, according to DOL’s Registered Apprenticeship National Results Fiscal Year 2020.
With focused effort, apprenticeships could open a new conduit that provides value to both the individual and an organization while providing a welcome kickstart to a stagnant labor market.