21st Century Vision for Registered Apprenticeship

Posted by Chad Aleshire - On July 03, 2013 (EST)

“Registered Apprenticeship has tremendous opportunity to help millions of individuals” begins a quote from a ground-breaking report from the Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship entitled “21st Century Registered Apprenticeship: A Shared Vision for Increasing Opportunity, Innovation, and Competitiveness for American Workers and Employers.”   The report comes as an outgrowth of a challenge made by the Secretary of Labor to the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA) during the Summer 2012 celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act.  The ACA took the Secretary’s challenge to heart and over several months developed a collaborative 21st century "vision" to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeship and seize the opportunity to capitalize on the growing interest in Registered Apprenticeship as a solution to the nation’s workforce, economic, and education challenges.  The result is a set of innovative solutions and recommendations to expand Registered Apprenticeship through a combination of proposed policies, partnerships, and leveraging of the national system which is now composed of approximately 250,000 employers, joint labor-management organizations, and educational partners.  

Read the Full Report Here

Read the 2-Page Vision Overview Here

The report is particularly timely, as the United States emerges from the “Great Recession” and the economy continues to face challenges.  Be it worker skill shortages, gaps in educational attainment, credentialing or preparing for the continued aging of our workforce, all of these issues create potential challenges in keeping America competitive.  Regularly, those looking to gain skills seek higher education pathways as the sole opportunity to reach the middle class and to gain the skills needed in today’s increasingly knowledge-based economy.  However, there is a renewed national interest in work-based learning strategies due to a number of factors, including growing frustration with the cost of higher education, the growing skills gap in critical industries and key occupations that do not require a traditional four year degree.  The ACA “Vision” report explains that for many new and emerging industries, worker and skill shortages could be addressed through an expanded and enhanced 21st century National Registered Apprenticeship system. 

We are now excited to issue the committee’s report complete with recommendations and highlights of the system’s innovators and trailblazers, programs recognized for their embodiment of the ACA’s 21st vision for Registered Apprenticeship, and encourage you to read and help disseminate the Executive Summary and Full Report. Fulfilling the 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship vision will require transformational change in policy, organization, and practice and will require continued leadership and engagement from key partners in the areas of workforce, economic development, and education.  

We thank each of our ACA members for all the hard work, time commitments, leadership and expertise they have provided to make this shared vision a collaborative effort that takes into consideration the needs and challenges facing all of America’s employers, businesses, industries and stakeholders.  We expect this effort to help shape the future direction of the Registered Apprenticeship system.  If actions are implemented and incentivized properly, Registered Apprenticeship could hold the key to assisting millions of employers and workers. 

Also be sure to look for a future Webinar on the report.  Thank you again to our ACA members for their dedication to expanding the use of Registered Apprenticeship to help keep America competitive in the 21st Century.

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