About CTE Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships are contractual arrangements between private employers and workers in which students earn a salary during supervised on-the-job training and while engaging in related academic instruction (Holzer & Lerman, 2014; Lerman, 2010; U.S. Department of Labor, 2015). Apprenticeships are the most intensive work-based learning model, and are particularly well suited as an entry point for youth and young adults to middle-skill careers (Holzer & Lerman, 2014). While completing on-the-job learning apprenticeships engaged in coursework that includes math as well as verbal and occupation-specific content (Holzer & Lerman, 2014; Lerman, 2010). Students in apprenticeships are employees and are paid for their work (Alfeld, Charner, Johnson, & Watts, 2013; Holzer & Lerman, 2014).
The benefits associated with apprenticeships can be greater for underserved student populations. This is in part because apprentices are paid a salary that often includes opportunities for wage progression as students gain mastery of new skills and demonstrate their value to the workplace. This allows apprentices to earn a living wage while pursuing an education (Lerman, 2010). Earning a salary while receiving training increases students’ confidence (Holzer & Lerman, 2014). It also reinforces for students the relationship between their investment in skill development results and their income potential (Holzer & Lerman, 2014).This is important for underserved students (e.g., students who are low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, veterans, or formerly incarcerated). Underserved students are often unable to afford participation in unpaid internships yet are seeking the high-skills training necessary to obtain family-wage employment. Moreover, apprenticeships are also particularly beneficial for low-income students and students of color in terms of increased persistence rates and occupational identity (Holzer & Lerman, 2014). However, despite the benefits associated with WBL for underserved students, a lower percentage of these students are engaged in WBL (National Survey of Student Engagement, 2007).