Download: Scaling Registered Apprenticeship Programs through Improved Technology Infrastructure

    Apprenticeship Recognition as Valid Post-Secondary Degree Path on the Rise

    The White House and the Department of Labor agree that registered apprenticeship recognition as an ideal path to a debt-free secondary education degree needs to rise.

    How does a Gen Z student from a marginalized community get on a path to a well-paid job in a growing industry within their community? In more communities like Florida’s Miami-Dade, pre-apprenticeship programs are becoming available in local high schools.

    But even in communities that have registered apprenticeships without feeder pre-apprenticeship programs, the word is getting out among students about how powerful registered apprenticeship programs are.

    The Federal Government Is Backing Registered Apprenticeships

    If you read our newsletter, you already know that both The Department of Labor and The White House have pushed a number of public initiatives in calendar 2024 to increase the availability of registered apprenticeships across the country.

    Grant money for apprenticeship programs is available and can offset a substantial portion of the cost.

    Federal agencies will be launching their own registered apprenticeships as a model for other agencies and for the private sector.

    Federal government contracts will have apprenticeship requirements and preference more and more as the private sector has a window of time to catch up.

    Apprenticeship Recognition

    Employer Registered Apprenticeship Recognition on the Rise

    Employers are also recognizing that a job candidate with a post-secondary degree AND OJT and related training is far more ready to successfully integrate with their organization than a candidate with a generalized liberal arts degree.

    So they are launching, in some cases on truncated timelines like Radiance Solar becoming a sponsor and launching multiple apprenticeship tracks in less than 120 days.

    Not only did GoSprout’s apprenticeship tracking software make it easy to set up and manage compliance, but the platform also has all kinds of free resources that draw apprenticeship candidates into the community.

    The Student Debt-Driven Degree Path Continues to Be Scrutinized

    The treatment of student debt is a highly partisan issue but the national debate keeps it constantly in the spotlight. The pause on the repayment during Covid-19, forgiveness programs, and the acknowledgement that many higher education programs were in essence scams has only increased skepticism among both parents and students.

    With stories of professionals still paying student debt well into their forties being rampant, the societal reassessment of student debt-driven educations especially among marginalized populations is not surprising.

    At the state level, Georgia’s Hope Scholarship program, Florida’s end-to-end integration of the public school system, and other examples are becoming models for other states to adopt.

    Gen Z’s Job & Education Preferences Drive Apprenticeship Recognition as Post-Secondary Degree Path

    The conversation about how challenging millennials are to work with has now shifted to Gen Z, who have their own defining characteristics.

    Lacking a romanticized view of a student-debt driven liberal arts education is definitely part of their approach to education and employment.

    But on top of that, there are two named movements that many Gen Z’ers embody:

    The Deskless Worker Movement: Gen Z does not want to be at a desk. Perhaps in part due to Covid-19 stay home protocols and maybe for other reasons, a traditional white collar desk job does not appeal to many Gen Z workers. They want to be on their feet and moving around geographically.

    The Toolbelt Generation: While Gen Z has less desire to be at a desk, they also don’t feel the same degree of stigma about blue collar jobs. If the job pays you well in your early 20’s, that’s a great job, period.

    But these movements don’t mean that Gen Z doesn’t still want a degree. They simply want to earn while they learn and very comfortable graduation with a more skill-based degree versus a liberal arts degree that will require graduate school in order to unlock high-earning potential.

    How Employers Can Thrive

    Employers have a huge opportunity to embrace this societal shift with substantial subsidies at both state and federal level. Grants and preference for government contracts make the benefits of a registered apprenticeship even more appealing.

    With technology companies like GoSprout having systematized and gamified the administration, coordination, and compliance aspects of launching and apprenticeship management, companies can be sure they are ROI positive and get programs off the ground quite quickly.

    With a registered apprenticeship, a business gets to invite students who are earning a degree into their organization and have them produce monetizable work under the guidance of a journeyworker (mentor). The student learns skills hands-on but also experiences the culture of the business. When they graduate, their qualifications for open roles are not in doubt. They’ve already been working with the organization for years in many cases.

    Ready to see how a registered apprenticeship can benefit your company and help students in your community get the post-secondary education they desire without loading up on student debt? Schedule a guided tour of GoSprout and we’ll show you how to easy it is to bring your registered apprenticeship program to life.

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