Youth Apprenticeship in America Today: Connecting High School Students to Apprenticeship

Youth Apprenticeship in America

Youth apprenticeship, which allows young people to learn a trade while earning a living wage, is an underutilized option for high school students. This report from New America explores opportunities and challenges for growing high-quality youth apprenticeship in the U.S. and outlines five key findings: 

  • Youth apprenticeship is aligned with mainstream thinking about key problems facing American education and industry, including how to smooth transitions between education and the workforce.
  • Americans are open to youth apprenticeship for high school students, but awareness is low and caveats remain related to program quality.
  • Without a single definition for youth apprenticeship, the current national landscape shows a diverse collection of programs nowhere near a coherent system.
  • There are historical reasons for today’s fragmented and limited landscape. Past efforts to expand youth apprenticeship offer important lessons for future ones.
  • States are leading a new wave of efforts to expand youth apprenticeship

The report also describes future directions for the youth apprenticeship field and provides a comparative analysis of different youth apprenticeship models and programs. 

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December 2017