by Chaz Bolte
A new survey from the Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) shows that only nine percent of current apprentices found out about their job from a career advisor. Almost twice as many (17%) were actually discouraged from pursuing an apprenticeship.
Of the 600 apprentices surveyed across several industries, 50 percent said they began their path toward apprenticeship by taking the initiative on their own, with 35 percent of those apprentices saying they found out about their current position from online research.
With high unemployment among young adults, the devaluation of college degrees, and a rising number of young adults unable to move out of their parents’ home, diversity of career paths is much needed. Apprenticeship is anything but a new concept, but is nonetheless viewed as a non-traditional approach to beginning a successful career. As the survey shows, young adults are not being persuaded to take this reliable route towards what can be a lucrative life, especially in construction, engineering and the like.
IAC spokeswoman Julia Chippendale told the Construction Enquirer, “The survey is a testimony from the generation of young people which we need to lead us to a brighter, better, more productive future. Their experiences are both uplifting and depressing in the extreme.”
The building trades unions of the AFL-CIO have ramped up their already robust apprenticeship programs and are now investing nearly $1 billion annually in the construction workers of the future. However, as the IAC survey shows, without the help and belief of guidance counselors and career advisors, these investments may not be capitalized on by the young people who need them most.
”Government, industry and agencies are working extremely hard to ensure that this country has the right flow of skilled people to create growth in the economy,” Chippendale said. ”Now we must ensure that the message is delivered to the very people that need to hear it – school pupils.”