Youth Apprenticeship in the United States: Apprenticeship Evidence Building Portfolio

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Youth Apprenticeship in the United States: Apprenticeship Evidence Building Portfolio

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In 2020, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and funded contractor Urban Institute and its partners the Capital Research Corporation and Mathematica to conduct the Implementation Evaluation of the Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grants (YARG) and the State Apprenticeship Capacity Assessment as part of the existing Apprenticeship Evidence-Building Portfolio.

Registered apprenticeship provides an opportunity for youth to learn valuable occupational skills while earning wages and can help reduce the challenges they face when seeking employment. The YARG implementation study aimed to understand how YARG grantees developed and expanded Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) to support youth apprentices (16 to 24 years old) and which factors are associated with design and implementation. This report describes the experiences of youth apprentices in the United States, reviews state youth apprenticeship systems, and describes the early experiences of the Youth Apprenticeship Readiness Grantees.

Analysis of administrative data shows that a substantial share of apprentices are between the ages of 16 and 24 at registration (30 to 40 percent of all apprentices in any given year), although a much smaller share of apprentices are 16 to 18 years old. Most youth apprentices are registered in programs that serve both adults and youth rather than "youth apprenticeship programs" that exclusively serve youth. YARG grantees are working with a variety of different partners, including required education and training, employer, industry, as well as other optional partners. Grantees planning to include smaller numbers of apprentices tend to have fewer partnerships in place and will handle most services and activities themselves.