What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly-skilled workforce. It is an employer-driven, “learn-while-you-earn” model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the employer that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards. The model also involves progressive increases in an apprentice’s skills and wages.
An apprenticeship is a flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business. Apprentices can be new hires, or businesses can select current employees who need skill upgrades to join the apprenticeship program.
The apprenticeship model is leading the way in preparing Kentucky’s workers to compete in today’s economy. Apprenticeship programs keep pace with advancing technologies and innovations in training and human resource development through the complete involvement of employers in the educational process. While it is used in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, apprenticeship is also instrumental for training and development in growing industries, such as health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, and energy.
There are five components to typical apprenticeship programs.
- Business Involvement
- Structured On-the-Job Training
- Related Post-secondary Instruction
- Rewards for Skill Gains
- Nationally-Recognized Credential
Apprenticeship programs are a key asset for state and local workforce systems’ career pathway strategies. The foundation of the apprenticeship model is the continual building of skills and the ability for workers to obtain higher levels of employment in an occupation or industry. As a result, use of the apprenticeship model can provide communities with a competitive advantage by establishing a continual pipeline of qualified workers for local employers.