Across the United States, employers in the skilled trades, particularly in manufacturing, are facing a severe shortage of skilled workers. This skills gap is causing a growing number of discouraged workers who feel as though while there are open jobs, they cannot access them without specialized training or education.

But the lack of workers and job access is only part of the issue " employers are facing challenges even with those currently in the workforce. The engagement and retention rates among employed workers is decreasing. Employers with high turnover are facing difficulty recruiting new talent in this market initially, and an even greater difficulty in retaining said workers once hired.

Fortunately, there is a solution: Apprenticeships. Slowly growing in popularity, apprenticeships are a proven strategy for upskilling and training workers to fill skilled positions across many industries. Some organizations have just recently begun implementing apprentice and other training programs to great success. A-West Enterprise, for example, registered a four-year apprentice program through the Department of Labor that has dramatically increased their retention rate for participating employees.

And while seemingly daunting, launching or even innovating an apprenticeship program does not have to be so difficult. There are effective strategies that streamline the process of creating an apprentice program, allow organizations to reap the benefits of a strong talent pipeline, engaged employees, and higher retention, among others.  

In a recent article, Manufacturing Talent: The Future of Apprenticeships, Penn Foster's own Collin Gutman, and Senior Advisor at Jobs for the Future, Eric Seleznow, share how apprenticeships can help solve many workforce challenges. To read the article, click below:

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