Man training apprentice in shop.

Although apprenticeships have always been a piece of the U.S. educational puzzle, now more than ever their practicality and merit as a form of training has made them central to the conversation around more effective modern education. More and more, employers and students alike are looking for training opportunities that prioritize the value of hands-on experience, and apprenticeships are an avenue of training that provides this immersive, learning-by-doing experience in a comprehensive way.

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is a nationwide celebration that brings together business leaders, career seekers, labor, educational institutions, and other partners in celebrating and acknowledging their support for apprenticeships. In addition to celebration, this week also calls for helpful communication, encouraging relevant leaders to showcase the programs apprenticeship-seekers can explore, as well as the stories of success found by apprentices of the past.

The value of apprenticeships

A conversation around the value of apprenticeships is one that has been ongoing and mounting in the national discourse throughout the past several years. In June 2017, the White House announced an executive order expanding apprenticeships in America. Per this order:

“In today’s rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill both existing and newly created jobs and to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. Higher education, however, is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Furthermore, many colleges and universities fail to help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high paying jobs in today’s workforce.

Expanding apprenticeships and reforming ineffective education and workforce development programs will help address these issues. Apprenticeships provide paid, relevant workplace experiences and opportunities to develop skills that employers value. Additionally, they provide affordable paths to good jobs and, ultimately, careers.”

Penn Foster’s support of apprenticeships

Within the same year the executive order was published, Penn Foster placed more than 5,000 apprentices with more than 500 employer partners over the course of 12 months. In the time since then, these figures have continued to grow as Penn Foster works to partner with organizations who value the role apprenticeships play in providing a comprehensive training experience to their workers. These include:

  • MetroPower - The premier commercial electrical contractor throughout the Southeastern United States, serving all industries with integrity, while primarily focusing on the Industrial, Healthcare, Department of Defense and Premier Commercial segments. A partner of Penn Foster since 2003, they offer the technical instruction component of their apprenticeships online, allowing MetroPower apprentices to complete their work on their own schedule.
  • Carmeuse - A global performance materials and services leader with core competencies in mining, equipment, material processing, and engineering solutions. Another Penn Foster Partner, Carmeuse helps their employees further their trade skills by offering Industrial Electrician Apprenticeships, Millwright Apprenticeships, Mobile Diesel Mechanic, and Frontline Supervisor training programs to their employees.

Through partnerships such as these, Penn Foster is dedicated to helping hardworking people across a number of industries- healthcare, skilled trades, veterinary practices- prepare for these careers, and has longtime valued the practicality and effectiveness of apprenticeships as a channel built to help do so.

Penn Foster is excited to continue their tradition of acknowledging the annual week-long celebration of apprentices- highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships in preparing a highly-skilled workforce to meet the talent needs of employers across diverse industries.

NAW will be celebrated at Penn Foster throughout November 8-14, 2020. For more information on how Penn Foster can help you foster training solutions such as these, contact one of our training experts to learn how to find and enroll more working learners in a paid apprenticeship program, or read our comprehensive eBook.