Earlier this week, President Trump announced his intention to expand apprenticeship programs as the cornerstone of his labor policy.1 He clearly sees apprenticeship as a skills gap solution " and not just a way to hire an assistant in front of a national audience.

Like many other countries, the United States faces a skills gap challenge in which the number of skilled workers falls far short of our economy's demands. Unlike those countries, however, we lack an education system that leverages apprenticeship to meet this demand " we simply have no solution to today's skills gap issues.

Without traditional institutions that can produce apprenticeships at scale, we need to create a new approach to apprenticeship creation. Throwing dollars at the problem will not work without a suitable partner to utilize that capital to create trained apprentices.

Local apprenticeship programs with employers and community colleges have proven successful " but in limited scale.  Larger employers simply can't coordinate between all of the education providers out there, and online education providers have not viewed hands-on training and employer coordination as within their MOOC-oriented wheelhouse.

The new skills economy requires a new solution " an education provider that can operate independently or in conjunction with the traditional educational ecosystem to deliver apprenticeship training at scale and in tight coordination with employers providing on-the-job (OTJ) training. 

To learn more about Penn Foster's apprenticeship solutions for the skilled trades, contact us at [email protected]

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Resources: Photo by WSJ. (1) Wall Street Journal.