Youth pre-apprenticeships are programs designed to prepare young people to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Youth pre-apprenticeship programs should have strong, direct links with established RAPs. In addition to their required high school coursework, students take courses for their pre-apprenticeship that are approved by a RAP. These courses count towards high school graduation!
Students acquire a multitude of skills and reap many benefits by participating in a youth pre-apprenticeship:
- On-the-Job Learning (OJL) activities can begin at age 16! These can count towards entry into a RAP. Through OJL, students increase their industry-specific skills and employability.
- Earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications.
- Apply to a RAP leading up to or upon graduation from high school.
- Postsecondary credits can be awarded if written agreements are made in advance between your local school districts, postsecondary institutions (like the University of Alaska ), and the RAP.
Youth at Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in their flagship Hospitality Boot Camp.
In 2022 AVTEC hosted several boot camps, including an IT course for high school students and a hospitality course geared towards youth, ages 18-21. The coursework and certifications received during the IT boot camp counted towards the Technical Instruction requirements for AVTEC's Network Support Technician RAP. Upon passing the exam, students earned an industry valued credential. The instruction and training provided at the Hospitality boot camp helped youth gain valuable industry-specific and employable skills. At the culmination of the camp, participants had interviews with employers from across Alaska. Many youths were offered jobs and all left with polished resumes, new skills, and prepared for the possibility of a hospitality RAP.
School to Apprenticeship
A School to Apprenticeship program can go hand-in-hand with Youth Pre-apprenticeship programs. While there are many similar requirements and benefits, School to Apprenticeship focuses on transitioning from high school career and technical education to joining the workforce through Registered Apprenticeship (RA).
Although data on youth pre-apprenticeship and school to apprenticeship programs are still in its infancy, nationwide trends show an increase in high school graduation rates for those that participate in these programs. In Colorado and Chicago, students participating in these programs were 2.7% more likely to graduate! ( Source: Youth Apprenticeship Toolkit)
- Through School to Apprenticeship, students don't have to wait to graduate before being fully registered as an apprentice in a RAP! They begin their RAP in high school with parent or guardian approval.
- As early as 9th grade, students begin taking courses that are approved by a RAP. These courses may be taught at their high school, local community and technical colleges, or both.
- School to Apprenticeship courses are taken in addition to a student's required high school coursework. These courses should count towards their high school graduation!
- Postsecondary credits can be awarded if written agreements are made in advance between local school districts, postsecondary institutions (like the University of Alaska), and the RAP.
- Supervised On-the-Job Learning (OJL) activities can begin at age 16! Students are employed and these OJL activities count towards and are supervised by a skilled mentor.