- Of the people who visit an American Job Center and sign up for training, fewer than 1% enroll in registered apprenticeships, according to a report by Third Way. In 2017, of the 132,616 individuals who enrolled in job training provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 1,099 or 0.8% ended up in a registered apprenticeship.
- Among African Americans who signed up for training, 0.4% took an apprenticeship opportunity, compared to 1.2% of white trainees and 1.3% of Latino trainees. The apprenticeship participation rates were higher among men than women, the report found. Participation rotes rose among veteran trainees; 2.1% of veterans looking for training participated in registered apprenticeships.
- Sixty percent of those enrolled in training signed up for "other occupational skills training," which comprises programs teaching people skills for specific jobs which may not have the same structure as traditional apprenticeships, which combine on-the-job and classroom training.
Third Way's findings come as a sharp contrast to reports that state employers are looking to apprenticeships to find talent and equip them with the skills they will need. However, this data may help clarify apprenticeships' status among potential participants. It's worth noting this analysis covers only those who went to an American Job Center and enrolled in its training.
With low participation rates among job seekers looking for learning opportunities, employers may want to consider how well their apprenticeship pipelines work or if they are advertising their programs well enough. Many employers partner with learning institutions to ensure they have a steady flow of partnerships for their programs. Without such relationships, some employers may struggle to find apprenticeship participants.
An examination of apprenticeship pipelines may make employers aware of how their opportunities exclude people of certain backgrounds, which could answer Third Way's finding that African Americans have a lower participation rate than white and Latino workers. Just as employers analyze how their recruiting practices can be more inclusive, they can apply similar techniques to gather a diverse slate of apprenticeship candidates and participants.