County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, A Healthier Nation, County by County

The County Health Rankings models and measures

Our Approach

The County Health Rankings model of population health

What can I do?

Action Center

Explore guides and tools for improving health.

What Works for Health

Explore programs and policies that work!

What can I learn from others?

Reports

Key findings from the last four years of County Health Rankings and other national reports.

County-by-County Blog

Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Youth apprenticeship initiatives

Evidence Rating

Expert Opinion

Health Factors

Youth apprenticeship programs provide high school students with professional opportunities that combine academic and on-the-job training and mentorship. Apprenticeships include classroom-based vocational education in a high school or technical college setting that is related to paid on-the-job work and connects participants to instructors who also act as mentors. Youth apprenticeships are offered in a variety of fields. Training requirements and applicable government or industry-recognized standards vary by field (, Abell-Lerman 2015). Most formalized apprenticeships in the United States serve adults who have graduated from high school, often through Registered Apprenticeship programs (). 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Increased employability

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Improved social emotional skills

Evidence of Effectiveness

Youth apprenticeship programs are a suggested strategy to increase employment and gain employment skills (Hamilton-Lerman 2014, PIIE-Aivazova 2013, OECD-Sonnet 2010), particularly for disconnected youth (). Assessments of apprenticeship-like programs for high risk juvenile offenders suggest increases in youth employment and GED attendance (Schaeffer 2014). After school apprenticeship-like programs that introduce disadvantaged high school students to trades or other careers may improve social and emotional development (), and promote alternatives to violence and paths out of poverty (). Countries with strong apprenticeship programs have lower youth unemployment rates than countries without strong programs (OECD-Sonnet 2010), and participation in Registered Apprenticeships appears to lead to increases in lifetime earnings (Mathematica-Reed 2012, ). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects of youth apprenticeship programs.

Impact on Disparities

Likely to decrease disparities

Implementation Examples

A few states have formalized youth apprenticeship programs; Georgia and Wisconsin, for example, have had programs in place for 16- to 19-year-olds (Urban-Karas 2016) since the mid-1990s (Abell-Lerman 2015). As of a 2013 report, only 0.3% of the United States workforce participated in adult or youth apprenticeship programs (IZA-Lerman 2013).

Citations - Evidence

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Halpern 2006* - Halpern R. After-school matters in Chicago: Apprenticeship as a model for youth programming. Youth & Society. 2006;38(2):203-35.

Upjohn-Hollenbeck 2008* - Hollenbeck K. State use of workforce system net impact estimates and rates of return. Kalamazoo: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; 2008.

Bulanda 2015* - Bulanda JJ, Tellis D, Tyson McCrea K. Cocreating a social work apprenticeship with disadvantaged African American youth: A best-practices after-school curriculum. Smith College Studies in Social Work. 2015;85(3):285-310.

Hamilton-Lerman 2014 - Lerman R. Expanding apprenticeship opportunities in the United States. The Hamilton Project; 2014.

Mathematica-Reed 2012 - Reed D, Liu AYH, Kleinman R, et al. An effectiveness assessment and cost-benefit analysis of registered apprenticeship in 10 states. Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research; 2012.

OECD-Sonnet 2010 - OECD. Off to a good start? Jobs for youth. OECD Publishing; 2010.

PIIE-Aivazova 2013 - Aivazova N. Role of apprenticeships in combating youth unemployment in Europe and the United States. Washington, DC: Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE); 2013.

Schaeffer 2014 - Schaeffer CM, Henggeler SW, Ford JD, et al. RCT of a promising vocational/employment program for high-risk juvenile offenders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2014;46(2):134-143.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

Abell-Lerman 2015 - Lerman RI, Packer A. Youth apprenticeship: A hopeful approach for improving outcomes for Baltimore youth. The Abell Report. 2015;28(2).

Urban-Karas 2016 - Karas A, Lerman RI. Implementing financial education in youth apprenticeship programs. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute; 2016.

Date Last Updated

Dec 29, 2016