State Governments Are Embracing Apprenticeships, and it’s About Time

We won’t close our skills gap unless we get smart about how we train the next generation of workers set to replace a wave of retiring baby boomers– and apprenticeships will need to play a significant role.

As J.B. Wogan writes in Governing:

“Despite having a college diploma, [Will] Lake didn’t have the skills he needed to find the jobs he wanted. He’s not alone, and that skills gap is thought to be contributing to a strange paradox. In December, about 6.6 million Americans were unemployed, but companies had almost as many job openings — 5.9 million. In many cases, the people looking for work simply aren’t qualified for the positions that companies need to fill…

The apprenticeship model calls for a paradigm shift. For decades, public workforce agencies have trained residents, hoping that private-sector employers will then hire them. With apprenticeships, the employers come to government, identify the shortages they have and the skills they need; government then works with schools or training facilities to meet those demands.”

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