On May 4th-5th, 2017, New America and its sponsoring partners hosted the Apprenticeship Forward Conference, bringing together policymakers, industry, labor, and education and workforce practitioners to share insights and ideas about the state and future of apprenticeship in the United States.
As the field came together to contemplate a path to a future where more Americans participate in high-quality apprenticeships, we considered some big questions:
Who is apprenticeship for?
How will industry lead?
How will education view and embrace apprenticeship?
What is the role of public policy?
How can we assure quality?
The Center on Education & Skills at New America ran series of blogs and articles to explore these issues leading up to the Conference. And in November 2017, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, New America and National Skills Coalition announced the project's next phase: the Apprenticeship Forward Collaborative. A network of national, international, and regional organizations committed to expanding American apprenticeship, the Collaborative will continue to explore the landscape of modern American apprenticeship, elevating successful programs and working to make their best practices available to more apprentices and practitioners.
We're excited for the continued effort, and to keep sharing our thoughts and research as the field develops. We hope you’ll stay tuned, too, and join the discussion @NewAmericaEd or with the hashtag #ApprenticeshipForward.
- In the series's framing post, "Moving Apprenticeship Forward," Brent Parton surveys the issues facing apprenticeship, asking five big questions for policymakers, apprentices, and the industries that employ them.
- In the second post, "Can We Get to 5 Million Apprenticeships in 5 Years?," the CESNA team looks at government's role to assure quality in apprenticeship - the Registration process.
- In the third post, "Innovative Approaches to Financing Apprenticeship," Michael Prebil and Mary Alice McCarthy look for stateside insights from the UK's new apprenticeship levy - and the digital tools that go along with it.
- The fourth post, "Teach Cybersecurity with Apprenticeship Instead," discusses apprenticeship's potential in a critical tech field that demands skill and professionalism - but not necessarily a degree.
- Published in Politico, the fifth entry, "How Trump can solve the shortage of high-tech workers," addresses problems of H-1B visa abuse in the tech industry, and looks at reform opportunities to develop a sustainable workforce through apprenticeship.
- Kicking off the conference, the sixth post, "Building a New American Tradition", reflects on the recent swell of interest in apprenticeships, and considers apprenticeship's potential for changing long-held conventions in higher education.
- In the seventh post, "Can ESSA Help Move Apprenticeship Forward?", Abigail Swisher of the Education Policy Program's PreK-12 team considers how apprenticeship can figure into a renewed emphasis of career readiness alongside college preparation.
- Coinciding with the release of President Trump's executive order on apprenticeship, Brent Parton provided some first thoughts on its contents and on policy options ahead.
- In "Fresh Ideas for Growing Apprenticeship", Michael Prebil digs into an apprenticeship incentive proposal from Senators Collins (R-Maine) and Cantwell (D-Wash.) featuring a unique approach to building apprentice mentorship.
- In conjunction with the release of her new policy paper, Mary Alice McCarthy's "Quality and Equity in One Approach" discusses apprenticeship's potential in early childhood education, a field where costly academic programs and "credential creep" threaten the livelihoods of a critical workforce.
- "Will the real apprentice please stand up?" - The Hill, Dec. 6, 2016.
- "Apprenticeship can help us build our STEM workforce" - Nov. 29, 2016.
- "Making apprenticeship work for businesses" - Nov. 18, 2016.
- Seeing is Believing: "A tour of the German apprenticeship system" and "Apprenticeship and immigrant integration in Germany"- Oct. 25 & 26, 2016.
- "Time for a closer look: Apprenticeships in American high schools" - Oct. 3, 2016.
- "Rethinking the Bachelor's Degree" - Washington Monthly, Sept./Oct. 2015 issue.
- "Two approaches to closing the skills gap - one of which actually works" - Dec. 4, 2013.