Apprenticeship changes lives – especially for women
Across the U.S., our nation marked National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 14 through 20, to remind workers and employers of the importance and value of Registered Apprenticeships.
The gold standard for workforce training and development, Registered Apprenticeships are a time-honored, “earn-as-you-learn” model that opens pathways to good-paying careers that provide better benefits and greater job security. About 93 percent of workers who complete Registered Apprenticeships gain employment and earn an annual average starting wage of $77,000.
Women make up only 14 percent of active apprenticeships. In the male-dominated trades, less than 4 percent of apprentices are women. Now is the perfect time to ensure equity is woven into job creation through the country.
Apprenticeships can be an avenue to getting women into these opportunities. To date, $1.7 billion in funding has been announced for 90 projects in North Dakota.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau supports efforts to recruit, train and retain more women in quality pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs, as well as nontraditional occupations through the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations grant program. Through this innovative program, award recipients provide support services and job skills training to prepare women for promising careers, while simultaneously helping employers to create a work culture where women can succeed.
In October 2022, the Women’s Bureau marked its 30th year and celebrated three decades of collaborative efforts with community organizations to get more women into pre-apprenticeships, and Registered Apprenticeships and to connect them with stable, good-paying jobs. In its 30 years, the Women’s Bureau has worked closely with its grant recipients and learned a lot about what needs to be done to recruit and retain women in apprenticeships. One of the important lessons we’ve learned is that women participate and succeed in job training programs at higher rates when they receive supportive services like childcare.
Apprenticeships change lives. It’s never been more important for us to advance training, employment, and return-to-work opportunities that connect women to higher-paying jobs, so that our nation’s economic recovery brings with it greater equity.