South Carolina is bringing apprenticeship back
Posted On January 6, 2015
With the movement of manufacturing jobs overseas, America largely lost the master-apprentice model of skill development. College transitioned from liberal arts to business prep. With manufacturing making a comeback, the need for vocational skills is growing and the labor force is not keeping up. In 2007, South Carolina recognized this gap and implemented an apprenticeship program with 777 individuals across 90 companies. In 2014, there are more than 670 companies participating and the program has reached 11,000 workers. NPR recently reported on the success of the S.C. program.
Part of succession planning is passing along institutional knowledge from one generation to the next. With the Boomers retiring and the Xer population not large enough to replenish it, the Millennials will need to be brought up to speed quickly. But this is not only a generation gap consideration. With high schools focusing on college prep and colleges focusing on business prep, vocational training has fallen out of favor. Apprenticeship programs provide a viable substitute.