Why We Need Apprenticeship Programs for High School Students

By Heather Singmaster on July 9, 2015 12:02 PM

If you are a 15-year-old beginning high school, which country would you rather belong to?

Country A:

  • Youth unemployment rate of 10.1%
  • Approximately 5.5 million of the 16- to 24-year-olds are neither in school nor working
  • 14.9% of youth are underemployed (employed part-time or not to their full level of experience)
  • 15th happiest country in the world

Country B:

  • Youth unemployment rate of 3.1%
  • Overall unemployment rate of 3.1%
  • Happiest country in the world

Figure out what is Country A and Country B here.

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A New Look at Apprenticeships as a Path to the Middle Class

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — With its gleaming classrooms, sports teams and even a pep squad, the Apprentice School that serves the enormous Navy shipyard here bears little resemblance to a traditional vocational education program.

And that is exactly the point. While the cheerleaders may double as trainee pipe fitters, electricians and insulators, on weekends they’re no different from college students anywhere as they shout for the Apprentice School Builders on the sidelines.

But instead of accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, Apprentice School students are paid an annual salary of $54,000 by the final year of the four-year program, and upon graduation are guaranteed a job with Huntington Ingalls Industries, the military contractor that owns Newport News Shipbuilding.

Read the article here.

Labor Secretary Says Apprenticeship Efforts Key to Skilled Work Force During Triad Visit

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Thomas Perez offered a unique analogy for the U.S. Department of Labor during a visit to Forsyth Technical Community College on Tuesday, saying that the department he heads as secretary is like the online dating website Match.com.

“We try to match job seekers who want to punch their ticket to the middle class with employers who want to grow their business,” Perez said during a roundtable discussion at the college with local members of the biotech industry.

Read more here.