How many times have you heard someone say, “I only wish I could find a reliable plumber/electrician/handy person/mechanic/painter…”
With the incredible obsession for everyone to get a four-year college degree, the United States has lost the honor which once anchored the apprentice program in our country. In other words, we need people who are great at “building and fixing things.”
Apprenticeships are suddenly popular in the United Kingdom, because the government recently implemented a new tax on corporations which requires corporations to pay a “use it or lose it” tax that can be used to train apprentices, therefore incentivizing corporations to hire apprentices, or to turn current employees into apprentices through learning and development contracts.
In May 2017, government Canada announced plans to invest $85 million in apprenticeship programs. (Source for the information on the United Kingdom and Canada: College Recruiter “Apprenticeships: a New Way for Corporate Employers to Attract Talent” by Matt Krumie May 18, 2017)
Gratefully, the United States business owners are starting to take note. Today in America, fewer than 5% of young people trained as apprentices compared to Germany for example, where the numbers were close to 60%! However, these numbers are increasing each year. (Source: The Atlantic: “Why Germany Is So Much Better at Training Its Workers” October 16, 2014)
Too many young Americans are literally being crushed financially by the amount of debt they accrued to acquire a four-year college degree. Now, more than ever, Americans need educational options and career pathways which are cost-effective and oriented to delivering skilled careers and stable employment.
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®