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What are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships are jobs which integrate on the job training with related classroom instruction. They include progressive pay increases tied to demonstrated skills and lead to permanent positions with a family supporting income. They allow students to “earn and learn.”

Apprenticeships have successful track records in Europe, Australia, and North America in a wide variety of occupations and industries. In the US, most apprenticeships have been in the construction and manufacturing industries, but they are now growing in IT, health care, retail, hospitality, and other high skill professions.

Apprenticeships are registered with the Maryland Department of Labor (MDL) or the US Department of Labor (USDOL). An apprentice is sponsored by an employer, union, joint labor management organization, multi-employer organization, or a nonprofit. The sponsor designs the apprenticeship work experience, academic instruction, and pay increase scale. The apprenticeship plan is approved by USDOL or MDL. When an individual successfully completes a Registered Apprenticeship, he or she are established in their field.

What are Youth Apprenticeships?

Youth Apprenticeships are apprenticeships that are available only to high school students. Typically during their junior and senior years, Youth Apprentices earn marketable job skills and earn a wage before they graduate high school. Like Registered Apprenticeships, they must be approved and registered in MDL.

What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

CTE are skills training courses that are taught in high schools and community colleges. CTE allows students to gain industry-recognized credentials, including in apprenticeships and often academic credit. For apprentices, CTE can be the related classroom instruction that pairs academic knowledge with technical skills to prepare apprentices for in-demand, high-skilled, and high-waged jobs. Maryland has set the goal that by 2030, all CTE programs will include an apprenticeship and an industry recognized credential.

How do workforce programs promote college affordability?

Apprenticeships increase college participation by making education more affordable because students have an opportunity to “earn and learn” simultaneously. This allows them to graduate with little to no college debt, making higher education more accessible. Given the rising cost of college, apprenticeship—which pays wages from the first day of a program—offers an effective and equitable strategy for significantly expanding access to higher education.

How do the Kirwan Commission recommendations support workforce development?

The Kirwan Commission has made numerous recommendations to expand apprenticeships and reduce the skills gap: 1. Set the goal that by 2030, all high school Career and Technical Education programs include Youth Apprenticeships. 2. Achieving current Maryland law which sets a goal of 45% of high school graduates completing a CTE program by 12th grade. 3. Requiring all local school systems to provide students who meet the College & Career Readiness standard with access to a set of post-CRR program pathways that includes youth apprenticeships.