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Importance of Youth Apprenticeship

Youth Apprenticeship Overview

High school students, especially at the junior and senior levels, are prepping for the next step or chapter of their lives. Youth apprenticeships are often the first thing that comes to mind for students and parents when a traditional education does not help connect the dots between learning and working. Youth apprenticeships close the gap between education and work.  This combination allows students hands-on opportunities to explore and learn about their career interests, the importance of community involvement, and the development of hard and soft skills employers look for.

CAREER INTERESTS

High school students often choose a career pathway or college major with little experience and knowledge about well-paying careers that may align better with their aptitudes and interests. In a youth apprenticeship, students are introduced to multiple aspects of an industry or job to help broaden their knowledge. In this model, students are exposed to different job responsibilities and guided by skilled mentors. This hands-on experience helps students find their career interests and can help them make informed decisions regarding their future career goals.

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IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY

Students develop a deeper connection to their community when they begin the Youth Apprenticeship program. Students split their time between traditional high school classrooms and paid work experience. They earn competitive wages and help to build a talent pipeline of future workers for our community. Students develop a professional network and have an opportunity to earn college credit. This experience allows students to establish meaningful and personal connections that will install positive citizenship qualities.

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TECHNICAL SKILLS

In youth apprenticeships, technical skills are a significant part of students' learning. Students can also receive hands-on learning and practice with equipment, programs, and other complex operations to effectively teach within a traditional school classroom. These work-based experiences focus on connecting classroom learning with the technical skills needed for a job. This experience can set students apart when applying for jobs after high school and boost their resume.

SOFT SKILLS

Soft skills, also known as interpersonal or character skills, are another development area that youth apprenticeships can help students learn. Soft skills are often more challenging to understand without real experience and practice. Youth apprenticeships connect the student directly with the employer to develop effective communication, leadership, and ownership skills. Students also build the employability, leadership, and professionalism skills employers seek in their ideal candidates. Time management and flexibility are also part of a student's soft skills that they can learn through a youth apprenticeship. An apprenticeship can help students normalize a work schedule and learn to balance work and home life. These life skills help differentiate students because they gain leadership skills they can use in and outside school.

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