Apprenticeship programs have been lauded lately as one solution to closing the nationwide “skills gap.” In a recent U.S. News & World Report article, almost 98 percent of CEOs said the skills gap threatens their businesses, and some CEOs even suggest starting workforce training as early as kindergarten.
In June 2014, Trident Technical College in Charleston | South Carolina | USA and part of the SC Technical College System, launched a two-year youth apprenticeship program to connect high school level apprentices with local employers looking for the next generation of skilled workers.
The launch of the program was featured in Newsweek’s, “Doing it the German Way,” as an example of how workforce training programs in the U.S. are mirroring the success of Germany’s apprenticeship model.
Currently in its first year, the program has taken on 13 students in their junior year of high school to train with companies like Bosch, IFA Rotorian, Hubner Manufacturing (all German-based companies), Cummins Turbo Technologies, Detyens Shipyards and VTL Group. To meet industry demands, the regional program is expected to grow next year and expand beyond manufacturing into the information technology, hospitality and industrial mechanics sectors.
Officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, this program is not your traditional education model—it combines structured classroom instruction and on-the-job learning, plus the apprentices are paid for their work.
While the Trident Technical College youth apprenticeship program is new, other training programs have been preparing Charleston’s workforce for decades. Companies locating in the Charleston region can take advantage of statewide workforce training programs such as readySC, one of the oldest customized workforce training programs in the U.S., and Apprenticeship Carolina, which was featured on NPR last month. Both programs cost little to no money to the employer and have a track record of success, helping companies like Bosch and Boeing gear up their South Carolina workforce.
We’re proud these successful workforce training programs have taken off in our region. Click here to learn more about workforce training in Charleston | South Carolina | USA.