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Wisconsin hits record-breaking apprenticeship numbers

By: Daily Reporter Staff//February 28, 2023//

Wisconsin hits record-breaking apprenticeship numbers

By: Daily Reporter Staff//February 28, 2023//

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Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development,  announced Tuesday that Wisconsin has achieved a state record of more than 15,900 apprentices during 2022 thanks to strong growth in traditional sectors, including construction and manufacturing and innovative opportunities in fields such as IT and health care.

“We’ve worked hard over the past four years to ensure Wisconsinites have access to the resources and training to pursue the high-quality, family-supporting jobs they need to be successful, and our economy shows it, as we’ve seen record low unemployment, record high labor force participation, and record high participation in our apprenticeship programs,” Evers said in a statement. “We are excited to see a record number of 15,937 registered apprentices earning while they’re learning on the job, and we’re going to keep making smart, strategic investments to help this program continue to succeed and grow and to ensure our state’s economic momentum continues.”

Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship program is an earn-while-you-learn model that connects apprentices with high-skill, high-wage employment with sponsors across the state. In addition to learning the hands-on skills of the occupation from the sponsoring employer, apprentices gain knowledge specific to the occupation through an area technical college or private training center. A key component of apprenticeship is employment, and there is no apprenticeship without a respective job opening.

The record-high total of 15,937 apprentices in 2022 topped the previous record of 15,757 apprentices in 2001.

Wisconsin was the first in the nation with a registered apprenticeship program and is unique among the 50 states in requiring employers to pay their apprentices for both time worked and time spent in required classroom instruction, recognizing the equally important weight of both aspects of apprenticeship training.

Another important piece of the apprenticeship ecosystem is youth apprenticeship. Youth apprenticeship integrates school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in employability and occupational skills defined by Wisconsin industries. Many of the youth apprenticeship occupational pathways bridge to registered apprenticeship, offering students a clear path to a skilled career.

Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program reached a record with more than 6,400 youth apprentices and more than 4,500 employers in the 2021-2022 school year. The program also recently added 14 new pathways.


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