How Wisconsin's Apprenticeship Program Is Helping Employers and Students

Date: October 02, 2018


Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship Program (YA) continues to see a steady increase in participation by employers and students.

The apprenticeship program allows employers to hire high school juniors or seniors for a one- or two-year apprenticeship. While participating in the apprenticeship program, the student continues to pursue a high school diploma, and he or she can also take as many courses as possible related to the profession/trade of their apprenticeship.

The YA program has been highly successful in providing a pipeline of trained talent for employers, but also providing students with viable prospects for employment immediately following graduation.

In Dane County, there are currently 267 enrollees and 204 active employers with students earning an average wage of $10.89 per hour. Best of all, enrollees in the YA program achieved a 100 percent graduation rate, 86 percent of the students signed up for post-secondary education, and 85 percent were offered employment following successful completion of their apprentice training. Statewide, during the 2017-18 school year, there were 4,367 students participating in apprenticeship programs offered by 3,085 employers. Ten years ago, there were 1,708 students enrolled and 1,128 employers participating in youth apprenticeship training.

According to the Department of Workforce Development, the YA program has been connecting employers with high school talent for more than 25 years, “creating a scalable and successful program…making YA an excellent pipeline for recruiting and retaining loyal, well-trained talent.”

The department says employers report a high level of satisfaction, and they cite the following as benefits of the program:

  • Access to young workers who are eager to learn and have interest in the profession
  • Quality, prescreened youth apprentices who receive ongoing support during their apprenticeship
  • A method to address future hiring needs in a cost-effective and timely manner
  • The chance to shape the skills, expectations, and habits of youth apprentices at a young age

To find further information on the program, visit the official website or contact them by telephone at 608-267-6705.  

You may also contact the NFIB State Government Relations Office in Wisconsin at 608-255-6083 or by email:


Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Wisconsin

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