This year marks the 86th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act, which established the Registered Apprenticeship system as we know it today. As the apprenticeship system continues to evolve, expand and diversify, Registered Apprenticeship continues to serve as a gold standard of work-based learning.
In honor of Registered Apprenticeship’s transformative impact on the lives of millions of apprentices over the past 86 years, we’re launching the Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative. This new initiative will create a national network of apprentices and apprenticeship graduates from all walks of life and give them a platform to feature their stories, share their experiences on Registered Apprenticeship, and show how apprenticeships increase opportunities for all communities, particularly underserved populations.
The Apprentice Trailblazer Initiative is a part of our broader Youth Employment Works strategy, which supports policies, partnerships and strategies to provide equitable access for all young people to prepare for high-quality career paths through Registered Apprenticeship.
The first cohort of Apprentice Trailblazers will focus on youth ages 16-24. We’ve seen how Registered Apprenticeship provides young people the unique opportunity to gain critical skills and work experience in their early working years and access to a career pathway and free education, often including college credit and even a degree. Serving as an Apprentice Trailblazer will offer additional professional development opportunities for apprentices and graduates, as participants will have the chance to enhance their leadership and teamwork skills and engage in networking and mentorship.
As we turn towards the future of Registered Apprenticeship, we must ensure that all youth, especially those from traditionally underrepresented populations, have access to these opportunities for good jobs and high-growth career pathways.
Apply to become an Apprentice Trailblazer
We are calling on all youth apprentices and recent graduates interested in becoming Apprentice Trailblazers to coordinate with your Registered Apprenticeship sponsors on the application. The application deadline for the first cohort is Sept. 30, and we plan to announce the first cohort of youth Apprentice Trailblazers during National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 13-19.
Visit the Apprentice Trailblazer page to find the application and learn more about the initiative.
Please spread the word throughout your networks, encourage youth apprentices and recent graduates to apply, and remember to tag us on social media with #ApprenticeTrailblazers and #ApprenticeshipUSA.
Brent Parton is the principal deputy assistant secretary of the department’s Employment and Training Administration.