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Youth apprenticeship initiatives

Health Factors: Employment
Decision Makers: Educators Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Federal Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Youth apprenticeship programs provide high school students with professional opportunities that combine academic and on-the-job training and mentorship. Apprenticeships include classroom-based vocational education in a high school or technical college setting that is related to paid on-the-job work and connects participants to instructors who also act as mentors. Youth apprenticeships are offered in a variety of fields. Training requirements and applicable government or industry-recognized standards vary by field (Bulanda 2015, Abell-Lerman 2015). Most formalized apprenticeships in the United States serve adults who have graduated from high school, often through Registered Apprenticeship programs (Eichorst 2015). 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased employability
Improved social emotional skills

Evidence of Effectiveness

Youth apprenticeship programs are a suggested strategy to increase employment and gain employment skills (Hamilton-Lerman 2014, PIIE-Aivazova 2013, OECD-Sonnet 2010), particularly for disconnected youth (Upjohn-Hollenbeck 2008). Assessments of apprenticeship-like programs for high risk juvenile offenders suggest increases in youth employment and GED attendance (Schaeffer 2014). After school apprenticeship-like programs that introduce disadvantaged high school students to trades or other careers may improve social and emotional development (Halpern 2006), and promote alternatives to violence and paths out of poverty (Bulanda 2015). Countries with strong apprenticeship programs have lower youth unemployment rates than countries without strong programs (OECD-Sonnet 2010), and participation in Registered Apprenticeships appears to lead to increases in lifetime earnings (Mathematica-Reed 2012, Upjohn-Hollenbeck 2008). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects of youth apprenticeship programs.

Implementation

United States

A few states have formalized youth apprenticeship programs; Georgia and Wisconsin, for example, have had programs in place for 16- to 19-year-olds (Urban-Karas 2016) since the mid-1990s (Abell-Lerman 2015). As of a 2013 report, only 0.3% of the United States workforce participated in adult or youth apprenticeship programs (IZA-Lerman 2013).

Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s youth apprenticeship program serves approximately 3,000 high school juniors and seniors in one and two year programs. Programs require 450 to 900 hours of work-based learning and two to four occupational courses. Program completers receive a certificate of occupational proficiency in the relevant field, and sometimes technical college academic credit. Programs include agriculture and natural resources, architecture and construction, finance, health sciences, hospitality, information technology, biotechnology, engineering, transportation, and manufacturing (Urban-Karas 2016). State government spending is estimated at $2 million (Hamilton-Lerman 2014).

Citations - Description

Abell-Lerman 2015 - Lerman RI, Packer A. Youth apprenticeship: A hopeful approach for improving outcomes for Baltimore youth. The Abell Report. 2015;28(2). Accessed on December 29, 2016
Bulanda 2015* - Bulanda JJ, Tellis D, Tyson McCrea K. Cocreating a social work apprenticeship with disadvantaged African American youth: A best-practices after-school curriculum. Smith College Studies in Social Work. 2015;85(3):285-310. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Eichorst 2015* - Eichhorst W, Rodriguez-Planas N, Schmidl R, Zimmermann KF. A road map to vocational education and training in industrialized countries. ILR Review. 2015;68(2):314-337. Accessed on December 29, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Bulanda 2015* - Bulanda JJ, Tellis D, Tyson McCrea K. Cocreating a social work apprenticeship with disadvantaged African American youth: A best-practices after-school curriculum. Smith College Studies in Social Work. 2015;85(3):285-310. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Halpern 2006* - Halpern R. After-school matters in Chicago: Apprenticeship as a model for youth programming. Youth & Society. 2006;38(2):203-35. Accessed on December 8, 2016
Hamilton-Lerman 2014 - Lerman R. Expanding apprenticeship opportunities in the United States. The Hamilton Project; 2014. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Mathematica-Reed 2012 - Reed D, Liu AYH, Kleinman R, et al. An effectiveness assessment and cost-benefit analysis of registered apprenticeship in 10 states. Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research; 2012. Accessed on December 29, 2016
OECD-Sonnet 2010 - OECD. Off to a good start? Jobs for youth. OECD Publishing; 2010. Accessed on December 29, 2016
PIIE-Aivazova 2013 - Aivazova N. Role of apprenticeships in combating youth unemployment in Europe and the United States. Washington, DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE); 2013. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Schaeffer 2014 - Schaeffer CM, Henggeler SW, Ford JD, et al. RCT of a promising vocational/employment program for high-risk juvenile offenders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2014;46(2):134-143. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Upjohn-Hollenbeck 2008* - Hollenbeck K. State use of workforce system net impact estimates and rates of return. Kalamazoo: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; 2008. Accessed on December 8, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Abell-Lerman 2015 - Lerman RI, Packer A. Youth apprenticeship: A hopeful approach for improving outcomes for Baltimore youth. The Abell Report. 2015;28(2). Accessed on December 29, 2016
Hamilton-Lerman 2014 - Lerman R. Expanding apprenticeship opportunities in the United States. The Hamilton Project; 2014. Accessed on December 29, 2016
Urban-Karas 2016 - Karas A, Lerman RI. Implementing financial education in youth apprenticeship programs. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute; 2016. Accessed on December 29, 2016

Page Last Updated

December 29, 2016

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