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Apprenticeships are jobs in which workers get specialized on-the-job training while earning wages and taking courses. Upon completion, the apprentice will have valuable work experience and a recognized industry credential. To assure quality for employers and employees, apprenticeships must be approved by and registered with a federal or state Department of Labor.
Apprentices are often associated with the building trades because they are common in the construction industry. Today, however, apprentices work in IT, health care, hospitality, public services, and many other occupations.
The State of Maryland Department of Labor governs two types of apprenticeships:
- Youth – for high school students with part-time jobs and
- Registered – can be for high school students and high school graduates
The major advantages of apprenticeships compared with other education and skill training pathways are:
- People earn money as they learn skills
- Wages that increase as new skills are mastered
- Academic knowledge is integrated with applicable skills
- Employers recruit and train employees for their high-demand jobs
- Young people can save on college costs
For employers, apprenticeship training brings tremendous value, including:
- cultivation of a well-trained, talented workforce that is productive from the start
- opportunity to train workers using the exact pieces of equipment, protocols, and procedures that are relevant to them
- added sense of loyalty between employers and employees
- increased employee retention and advancement
- opportunity to fill challenging vacancies
- opportunity to maintain institutional knowledge when workers retire
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