The Changing Face of Apprenticeships


New Opportunities for Employers and STARs

Apprenticeships are a vital tool for employers to find diverse, skilled talent for their hard-to-fill roles. In the past decade, employers have expanded apprenticeships to more than half of all occupations. Today, 40% of workers in new apprenticeships are going into jobs that have historically required a bachelor’s degree, creating access to higher-wage jobs for STARs.

This research from Lightcast and Opportunity@Work shows how apprenticeships are on the rise as a solution to tear the paper ceiling separating employers and the talent they need.

More Apprenticeships for More Jobs

While apprenticeships have traditionally been concentrated in the trades, more than half of all occupations in the U.S. now have them.

In fact, more than 40% of registered apprenticeships have been created since 2010 and employers have created informal apprenticeship-type training programs for more than 120 occupations over the past 10 years, adapting the model for roles ranging from personal financial advisors to software developers and sales representatives.

Expanding Opportunities for STARs and Businesses

As apprenticeships open new jobs to new workers, STARs – which include two-thirds of all Black workers and more than half of both Hispanic and women workers – move into roles where they’ve been underrepresented. This, in turn, helps employers both expand and diversify their talent pipelines.

Investing in Hard-to-Fill Roles

Hiring challenges have never been more acute than they are in today’s labor market with record-high demand for workers.

Employers are learning to adapt: instead of waiting for perfectly-qualified candidates to come along, they’re building programs that develop the necessary skills for their workers.

In 2021, the 25 occupations with the greatest hiring demand all had apprenticeship programs – and six of these programs were created in just the last decade.

New apprenticeships are a model for employers to create their own successful programs – and provide a pathway to higher-wage jobs for STARs.


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