Some of the world’s most prosperous economies – including Germany, Australia and the UK – have robust apprenticeship systems. School leavers and job changers in those countries can access education and training that leads directly to the workplace, while the companies that sponsor them get top-quality workers with the precise skills they need.
In the United States, however, apprenticeships are far less common. Many businesses see them as complicated and expensive and don’t know if they really work. Others aren’t sure the benefits are worth the cost. U.S. employers are more comfortable shopping for talent than creating it. However, astute employers know it’s critical to have access to a pipeline of workers with 21st-century skills.