Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction to teach workers the practical skills and background knowledge to work in lucrative occupations that require distinct skills. While historically focused on skilled trades and construction, apprenticeship programs in the United States now support industries like technology, health care, energy and advanced manufacturing. A number of apprenticeship models exist, both formal and informal, that all aim to increase career opportunities outside of the traditional higher-education model.
Registered Apprenticeship Programs are the most established and promising type of apprenticeship in the United States. They do a better job building stable on-ramps to higher-paying career paths since they maintain worker protections, unlike some non-registered apprenticeships or Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs. They also offer paid and nationally-recognized apprenticeships that can help workers with less formal education pursue careers in more specialized industries. These programs can help workers both at the start of their careers and those making a shift later in life to pursue higher-paying roles.
Expanding opportunity for U.S. workers without a college degree is a key goal of the Biden administration. President Biden and Congress have increased funding for job training through the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law while also improving program quality and consistency through executive action.
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