New Report Outlines Options for US Apprenticeship Policy Changes

New Report Outlines Options for US Apprenticeship Policy Changes

5 Visionary Recommendations from Industry Experts

Ryan Craig and Tom Bewick are labor market and education experts with a vision. Craig is Managing Director of University Ventures, in addition to being speaker, writer, and analyst on 21st century workforce and education issues.  Bewick is President of the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange forum, co-founder of Franklin Apprenticeships, and former advisor on apprenticeships to the British Government.

Their new co-authored report, Making Apprenticeships Work: 5 Policy Recommendations, comes in response to the Trump Administration’s bold initiative to create an additional 5 million apprenticeships by 2020, and sheds light on how to best leverage the increased federal funding for this lofty goal.  

Craig and Bewick provide a clear assessment of the existing US apprenticeship system, discuss the valuable attributes of model apprenticeship programs in current foreign labor markets, and propose a logical pathway to accelerate a world-class US apprenticeship movement.  

The report provides strong data to support its recommendations, including not only focused input from industry and political thought leaders, but also powerful and specific examples from European countries who have successfully modernized their apprenticeship models.

What are the authors’ 5 recommended policy change visions?

  • Shift the mind-set to digital apprenticeships by bringing emerging and fast-growing industries to the table;
  • Formalize and incentivize the role of apprenticeship service providers;
  • Clarify federal funding for apprenticeship programs;
  • Build apprenticeships at the industry level, rather than one employer at a time; and
  • Encourage the public sector to lead by example by implementing government apprenticeship programs.

The US apprenticeship movement has lagged behind its European counterparts for years. It is time for us to turn around US perceptions, and to consider US policy approaches that can advance program awareness, funding, adoption, execution, and effectiveness.

We need to proactively embrace the vision of a modernized US apprenticeship movement.  Apprenticeships can spur a sustainable, socioeconomic reality shift to help address:

  • Traditional education’s inadequacy to effectively groom tomorrow’s thinkers
  • Outdated workforce planning, recruitment and training methodologies
  • Growing employer concerns about attracting critical 21st century workers
  • Increased levels of student debt

To that end, Craig and Bewick offer this insightful report for policymakers, educators, employers, and communities to carefully examine as a springboard for reflection and discussion.

As Ben Franklin, our firm’s historical mascot, said:

Genius is the ability to hold one’s vision steady until it becomes reality.”

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