Apprenticeship Training and the Future of Work in New Jersey

Research Report

Apprenticeship Training and the Future of Work in New Jersey

Targeting Occupations that will Thrive with Emerging Technologies
September 12, 2019


This report argues that policymakers should target training resources to jobs that are insulated from automation and have high growth prospects. Based on research using data from the federal Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System (RAPIDS) and Frey and Osborne’s widely cited study of the technological change risk for detailed U.S. occupational groups, the report finds that a plurality of New Jersey apprentices are or have been registered in the least secure category of occupations that face both high automation risk and low growth job prospects. These jobs, while essential to today's economy, may face disruption in the future and do not offer the prospect of broader growth in high-quality employment. A key conclusion of this report is that workforce development strategies do not need to abandon “traditional” trades to address the needs of emerging technology and the risks of automation. Rather, traditional apprenticeable trades, particularly electricians and plumbers, are well positioned for job growth and can avoid the risks associated with automation. The expansion of apprenticeships to non-traditional trades should be pursued as a strategy for scaling up apprenticeship, not as an effort to move past or neglect the traditional building trades.

You can access this report on the New Jersey Office of Innovation website (clicking this link will direct you to an external site).

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

Cross-Center Initiative: 
To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.