woodworking apprentice

The need to make registered apprenticeships more equitable

Report: Findings from Jobs for the Future – JFF suggest creating greater access for youth apprentices

Registered apprenticeships allow employers to train a new generation of workers. Data regarding registered apprenticeships is positive. About 93% of those who complete their apprenticeships gain employment earning an average annual wage of $77,000. And the current administration recently announced the Apprenticeship Ambassador Initiative – a national network of more than 200 stakeholders committed to boosting and diversifying registered apprenticeships.

But according to a new report – The Current State of Diversity and Equity in U.S. Apprenticeships for Young People – there are still significant equity gaps. The just-released report comes from the Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning, part of Jobs for the Future – JFF. The findings are the result of analyzing data regarding young apprentices, ages 16 to 24, from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS).

Highlights include:

  • Between 2010 and 2020, the number of youth apprentices grew 113% from 18,877 to 40,293.
  • On average between 2010 and 2020, 35% of youth apprentices identified as nonwhite while 63% identified as white.
  • Of the nonwhite apprentices, the largest percentages identified as Hispanic at 21% and Black at 8%.
  • Between 2010 and 2020, women accounted for just over 7% of all youth apprentices, while men made up just under 93% of the pool.

The report states, “Increasing diversity and equity in apprenticeship will require intentional action on a systemic level as well as within apprenticeship programs themselves.”

It continues, “When employers tap into a broader swath of talent, they often see positive return on investment via healthier bottom lines and greater innovation, thanks to the wide range of backgrounds and experiences these apprentices bring to the job.”

Additionally, the Center for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning offers a framework for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in registered apprenticeship.

You can read the full report here.

You can read about JFF’s DEIA framework here.