European countries such as the United Kingdom have been at the forefront of apprenticeships for years. The U.S. on the other hand has been lagging behind, with many American's, outside of the industries of construction and manufacturing, still lacking the knowledge of what exactly an apprenticeship is.
What is an apprenticeship?
According to the United States Department of Labor, "Apprenticeship is a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly-skilled workforce."
Apprenticeships are a great resource when it comes to improving a workforce because they allow individuals to earn money while they learn how to operate in a new industry.
This helps individuals develop skills that will make them more successful and it gives employers the opportunity to train and prepare workers specifically for their business.
How are apprenticeships evolving in the United States?
For the first time, the number of jobs in the U.S. is surpassing the number of people looking for jobs.
As a result, the United States has slowly been taking steps to equip Americans with stronger skill sets that will help them gain and obtain better jobs. One of the ways they are doing this is by expanding the apprenticeship model.
Last Friday, July 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor announced an initial training and employment notice to expand high-quality apprenticeships.
What does the notice entail?
This notice will build upon the existing Registered Apprenticeship program and may include training in the following professions: trade and industry groups, companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, unions, and joint labor-management organizations.
So far, trade associations, various companies and labor have promised to create opportunities for skill development to about four million American workers.
This will create more work-place learning opportunities for Americans and will help them "develop the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow while meeting job creators' needs for skilled labor." (Source: United States Department of Labor)
What does this mean for professional development?
The new apprenticeship initiative is going to open up a number of doors to Americans when it comes to paid workplace learning and development. Individuals are going to find a growth in training opportunities in numerous industries, giving them the opportunity to build their skills for a more successful career.