In 2017, a task force was assembled to examine apprenticeships in American business. The executive order asked industry and thought leaders to “identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeship programs are insufficient.”
The task force addressed some sobering truths about employment in America. It found that the more traditional, four-year college education route results in a “skills gap.” Undergraduates simply weren’t prepared for the job demands of the 21st century, and employers had difficulty finding qualified personnel for relevant positions.
To address that deficiency, the task force considered the apprenticeship model where workers wishing to learn a certain trade receive both on-the-job and classroom training and are generally paid a stipend for the work they do. Apprenticeships are beneficial for all involved: The employee learns skills the employer needs and starts to build a meaningful career, and the employer builds a pipeline of highly qualified candidates for full-time employment.