The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship

Youth apprenticeships provide an opportunity for policymakers, employers, and educators to grow the population of skilled workers and keep pace with the demands of an advanced economy. Youth apprenticeship is perhaps the most intensive form work-based learning can take: Its duration is longer than an internship or co-op, and it requires deeper, more rigorous work at the job site. It also encompasses a significant amount of early postsecondary credit and culminates in a portable, industry-recognized credential, which few internship opportunities offer.

The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship covers common barriers, recommended strategies, and opportunities to further advance the development of youth apprenticeship programs in states and local communities. The report is one of a series of resources produced through the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), of which ESG is a member.

The report includes information learned from interviews with nearly a dozen established intermediaries that varied in geographic scope, service scale, and type(s) of work-based learning opportunity. ESG sought to better understand how intermediaries can be best leveraged to promote high-quality youth apprenticeship programs.

Specifically, the report offers insight on:

  • Types of roles and services that are common across work-based learning intermediaries
  • Common challenges in scaling work-based learning programs
  • Unique needs and challenges faced when implementing youth apprenticeship
  • Recommendations for organizations and institutions to consider when developing and scaling youth apprenticeship programs in partnership with states and local communities

Work-based learning enables students to apply classroom training to solve real-world problems and develop professional skills before stepping foot into their first full-time position. Across the work-based learning spectrum, intermediaries provide needed capacity and services to manage and scale programs to encompass more opportunities that are accessible to more youth.  In today’s highly technical and ever-changing economy, these early experiences are invaluable for ensuring that employers have access to a sufficiently large and well-prepared workforce and that youth have access to competitive, well-paying careers.

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The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship