What might we learn from industry about training?

What if education embraced an apprentice model of training teachers?

Photo of Jessica Lura
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How I know #Apprenticeship Works by Tom Perez (Secretary of Labor)

 "For decades, the skilled trades have led the way in developing and refining apprenticeships in America, allowing generations of Americans to enjoy middle-class careers as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and more. What we want to do now is build on this foundation laid by the building trades. We want to expand apprenticeship into other high-growth industries like health care, IT and cybersecurity, fields that you don’t normally associate with apprenticeship. After the tour, I joined a roundtable at Cuyahoga Community College, where students also have the opportunity to all of these 21st-century apprenticeships.

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At the same time, apprenticeship is a proven strategy for recruiting, training, and retaining a highly skilled and diverse workforce. International studies show that for every $1 invested in apprenticeship, employers get $1.47 back in benefits, and 97 percent of businesses with apprenticeship programs would recommend apprenticeship to other companies.

Since President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address, when he challenged employers and educators to double the number of apprenticeships by 2019, the U.S. has had the largest growth in apprenticeships in nearly a decade. We are already making substantial progress toward that goal. But we want to double and diversify, making sure that apprenticeship opportunities are available to women, to communities of color, to underserved populations and others who have struggled to navigate or access the skills superhighway.

The evidence is clear: apprenticeship works. That’s why we’re shining a light on this movement and why we want you to get involved. This week, we rededicate ourselves to building the skills superhighway through apprenticeship and making the American Dream a reality for more hardworking people."

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Photo of Dan Blake

Thank you for shining a light on an existing approach that is often overlooked or stigmatized. The apprenticeship approach to workforce development is a proven model, and there's no reason to think it can't be applied in other industry sectors (including education).

Photo of John Faig

@Dan,
Apprenticeships work very well in trades (electrician, carpentry) and knowledge-based professions (e.g., doctors, lawyers). It also helps teachers broaden their view of the world.

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