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An analysis of apprentices in the US construction trades: An overview of their training and development with recommendations for policy makers

Jeffrey G. Woods (School of Business, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 29 June 2012

1200

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide an in‐depth analysis of the labor market for apprentice training in the US construction industry. Also, the paper analyzes the learning process of apprentices and discusses the role of apprenticeships as a pathway to higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The interdisciplinary approach of this research integrates both the economic, institutional and educational aspects of apprenticeship training to show the process of developing the construction labor force in the USA.

Findings

The major finding of this research is to highlight the importance of apprenticeship programs in the US construction industry and how these programs can be used as a way to help rebalance the labor market. By increasing the number of workers with intermediate skills, we can insure the distribution of skills more closely matches the distribution of available jobs.

Research limitations/implications

Because of space constraints, the research limitations are that little is said about the factors that affect apprenticeship program completion rates.

Practical implications

The practical implications of this research are to provide policy makers some recommendations that can be used to foster the growth and development of apprenticeship programs in the US construction industry.

Social implications

The major social implications are that apprenticeship programs should viewed as an alternative pathway to higher education. They can ultimately improve career mobility and earnings. This can lead to a more equal distribution of income while expanding the tax base.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique analysis of an important segment of the US labor force by focusing on the economics and learning process of apprentices in the US construction industry. Understanding the learning styles of many apprentices helps explain the importance of the dual nature of their training.

Keywords

Citation

Woods, J.G. (2012), "An analysis of apprentices in the US construction trades: An overview of their training and development with recommendations for policy makers", Education + Training, Vol. 54 No. 5, pp. 401-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400911211244696

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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