By Mary Knight | Communications Specialist, CareerWise USA
Each year, CareerWise Colorado surveys its apprentices to gauge the quality of their experience and determine what needs to be improved as our modern youth apprenticeship program grows. The 2021 annual survey collected feedback from more than 100 youth apprentices across Colorado.
Despite the challenges the pandemic presented, 86 percent of apprentices described their overall experience as “good” or “excellent” in the survey report.
The survey feedback confirmed an apprenticeship experience’s value derives from the blending of classroom and on-the-job training—with 80 percent of apprentices believing the knowledge and skills they learned on the job will be relevant to their career. Twenty-seven percent of apprentices reported believing what they learn in the classroom is relevant to a future career—showing there are still improvements to be made to better bridge our K-12 education and workforce systems.
Of the many benefits of pursuing an apprenticeship, respondents reported the leading benefits as the opportunity to have a “head-start on a career” and gaining “professional work experience.” Program graduates believe they developed a mix of career-specific and essential soft skills that help them be better professionals, according to the survey’s data. Additionally, students shared that the apprenticeship opportunity helped them acquire in-demand skills, gain self-confidence and establish invaluable relationships.
Overall, 77 percent of apprentices report enjoying their work-based learning experience.
However, 2021 did present its hurdles for apprentices as they continued to navigate a changed world of work and school due to COVID-19.
The top challenges respondents reported facing included the difficulty completing high school and college courses remotely, difficulty forming relationships with supervisors and colleagues remotely and unexpected uncertainty about choices available after high school. Nonetheless, 81 percent of respondents believe the experience gained from apprenticeship will be valuable to their future career, regardless of post-apprenticeship plans.
You can find the CareerWise Colorado 2021 Apprentice Survey infographic here.