2 Center for American Progress | National Standards for Strong Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship offers significant benefits to workers and employers
Appreniceship, a srucured orm o on-he-job raining combined wih classroom- based insrucion, can help mee employer demand or skilled workers. As discussed in he recen Cener or American Progress repor, “raining or Success,” appreniceship oﬀers subsanial beneﬁs, including higher worker wages and increased business pro-duciviy. Appreniceship is he ulimae job-driven raining ool because i immediaely pus workers ino high-demand jobs. Appreniceship has proven o oﬀer workers higher wages han oher workorce developmen ools; i has also been shown o provide ax-payers wih he greaes reurn on invesmen.
Bu appreniceship is an underuilized raining ool in he Unied Saes. Te Deparmen o Labor adminisers a small sysem o 375,000 regisered apprenices, and abou 100,000 new apprenices sar programs every year. By conras, England sars abou 3 mil-lion apprenices per year.
One o he reasons U.S. employers do no more widely oﬀer appreniceshipsparicularly in nonradiional secors and occupaions such as healh care, inormaion echnology, and advanced manuacuringis ha oday’s apprenice-ships do no provide workers wih a uniorm credenial ha employers recognize and respec. Tis limis appreniceship’s value o boh workers and employers.
Registered apprenticeships lack portability
Te secreary o labor currenly issues a ceriﬁcae o compleion o workers who ﬁnish a regisered appreniceship. In heory, his ceriﬁcae should serve as a naionally recognized porable credenial, and, in many cases, i doesespecially or appreniceship programs linked o a naional labor union. However, regisered appreniceships are no as porable as hey could be. Tis is because he exac componens o an appreniceship program in one occupaion may diﬀer across saes and beween employers. Tis means ha an employer who evaluaes an appreniceship compleer rom anoher sae or company may no know exacly wha he worker has learned or which skills hey have demonsraed.Te lack o uniorm naional sandards is parly a resul o he biurcaed adminisraion o regisered appreniceships. Te naional regisered appreniceship sysem includes 25 saes ha each independenly review and approve appreniceable occupaions, mean-ing ha sandards are no uniorm across sae lines.
Prior o 2008, sae appreniceship councils o business, labor, and oher public ineress had he auhoriy o regiser occu-paions, which resuled in less accounabiliy o he U.S. Deparmen o Labor. oday, however, he power o regiser occupaions or appreniceship lies exclusively wih he ederal Oﬃce o Appreniceship and wih ederally recognized sae appreniceship agencies.
Tis change has increased he accounabiliy and oversigh o he regisered appreniceship sysem, bu i has no ully uniﬁed regisered occupaions across saes.