Why Youth Apprenticeships? Information for Educators

Learn more about the benefits of apprenticeship for students

What Are Youth Apprenticeships?

Youth apprenticeships provide structured opportunities for students ages 16 to 21 in high school and postsecondary education. Apprenticeships combine academic and technical instruction with paid work experience across many sectors, such as IT, health care, and energy industries. Apprenticeships offer young people flexible pathways after graduation, whether that’s going to college, working full time, or both.

How Do Apprenticeships Benefit Students?

Although young people are among the fastest-growing demographic groups in the US, they face high unemployment and underemployment. Research shows youth apprenticeship programs help students make quicker transitions from school to work and gain valuable skills and professional networks. Apprentices who complete their programs will earn approximately $300,000 more during their career than their peers, according to a study commissioned by the US Department of Labor.

What Can Educators Do to Support Youth Apprenticeship Programs?

Educators play many roles in supporting youth apprenticeships, including developing and administering apprenticeship programs and building awareness among students and parents about opportunities. By connecting students with employers, organizing students’ academic and work-based learning schedules, and facilitating related instruction (through school, a career academy, or dual enrollment in college), educators and schools support their apprentices and set them up for success.

My School Is Interested in Creating a Youth Apprenticeship Program. How Can Urban Help?

The Urban Institute is an intermediary supporting both educational institutions and employers to help build successful apprenticeship programs. If you would like to learn more, please reach out to us at apprenticeship@urban.org. We can work with you to create and register programs, share helpful resources, work with your school to build relationships with employers and other stakeholders, and connect schools to share experiences and program options.