Governors and other state leaders play a critical role in shaping a policy landscape that facilitates efforts to increase the availability of high-quality youth apprenticeship pathways.
During a time of increased concern over worker shortages, skill gaps and workforce readiness, youth apprenticeship has emerged as an important strategy to prepare the future workforce and meet the needs of the evolving economy, to build consistent and diverse talent pipelines and to improve career prospects and economic outcomes for learners.
Governors and other state leaders play a critical role in shaping a policy landscape that facilitates, rather than complicates or impedes, efforts to increase the availability of high-quality youth apprenticeship pathways into family-sustaining careers or further postsecondary education.
Creating this environment requires policies that broadly support career readiness ecosystems by improving connections and alignment across education and workforce systems, as well as policies that specifically uplift youth apprenticeship programs and facilitate greater student, employer and partner participation.
For more information on NGA’s work on youth apprenticeship please contact our Workforce Development and Economic Policy team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Apprenticeship Definition
According to the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship, a youth apprenticeship is a structured, work-based learning program designed to start when apprentices are in high school. High-quality youth apprenticeship programs are built on partnerships that include employers, high schools, and providers of postsecondary education, most often a community college. High-quality youth apprenticeship programs include the following four elements:
- Paid, on-the-job learning under the supervision of skilled employee mentors,
- Related classroom-based or technical instruction,
- Ongoing assessment against established skills and competencies and
- Culmination in a portable, industry-recognized credential and postsecondary credit.
Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship
As a national partner in the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), the NGA Center for Best Practices is assisting states and territories develop and implement policy agendas that advance high-quality youth apprenticeship opportunities. Through the Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship, states receive technical assistance, participate in programming to develop a clearer understanding of the national policy landscape and state policy options for advancing youth apprenticeship and engage in peer learning opportunities.
Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship States
States in the Policy Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship include: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, and Utah.
PAYA National Partners
PAYA Partner Resources
- Leveraging Existing Federal Funding Streams for Youth Apprenticeship
- Youth Apprenticeship Data Framework
- Youth Apprenticeship Program Quality Assessment Tool
- Visualizing the Youth Apprentice’s Journey: Infographic
- Why Should Employers Invest in Youth Apprenticeship? (Infographic)
- Equity in Youth Apprenticeship Programs
- Youth Apprenticeship in Action: Principles in Practice
- The Role of Data and Accountability in Growing Youth Apprenticeship Programs
- Building A Youth Apprenticeship Data Ecosystem: A Starter Kit
- The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship
NGA Youth Apprenticeship Library
By supporting and expanding youth apprenticeship programs, states can create stronger connections across secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, workforce development systems and community-based organizations. This state policy playbook lays out several actions Governors can take to foster high-quality youth apprenticeship.