Youth Apprenticeship is a structured combination of school-based and work-based learning. Through a coordinated effort involving business and industry, Youth Apprenticeship addresses the dual role of preparing students for the world of work and providing Georgia with a highly skilled, technologically competitive workforce. A student participating in the Youth Apprenticeship Program receives an education that is both academically challenging and relevant to employment in today’s economy. The program enables a student to receive a high school diploma and certification of industry-recognized competencies applicable to employment in a high-skilled occupation.
Essential components of Georgia’s Youth Apprenticeship Program are (1) a partnership structure involving secondary schools and employers, and (2) academic and vocational classroom instruction combined with on-the-job learning experiences.
Work-based learning includes the development of a detailed training plan between the employer and apprentice. School-based instruction includes selection of a career pathway; related coursework; placement on a job; periodic evaluations; and on-going guidance. While most students complete three courses related to a connecting pathway, all students must earn a minimum of one unit of credit before placement on the job site.
In addition to meeting the required guidelines to be a part of the Youth Apprenticeship Program, students are also expected to excel in these three areas (1) academic performance; (2)school and workplace behavior and (3) job performance
Since its inception in 1993, the program has provided a win-win situation for all parties involved in the program. A key factor contributing to the program’s success is the positive experience of the youth apprentices themselves. Because the program focuses on developing an individualized training plan for each youth apprentice, students recognize clear connections between their learning in the classroom setting, their experiences on the job, and achieving their future goals for careers and higher education. Marion County High School students benefit from their participation in the Youth Apprenticeship Program by (1) establishing a clear connection between education and work, (2) increasing motivation and retention by showing the relevance of academic and occupational instruction, (3) providing opportunities to explore possible careers and enhancing skill development (4) developing workplace responsibility and positive work habits and attitudes (5) encouraging completion of secondary education and enrollment in post-secondary education, (6) providing opportunities for leadership, and (6) learning from skilled professionals.
Not only do students benefit greatly from their participation in the Youth Apprenticeship Program; employers also reap rewards for their participation. Through their participation, employers are provided an opportunity to (1) increase employer visibility in education, (2) prepare future workers, (3) reduce their costs for recruitment and training (4) communicate required job-specific proficiencies to educational personnel, (5) improve employee retention, (6) offer a skilled, homegrown workforce for Georgia in the 21st century, (7) become more involved with the curriculum development process.
In addition to students and employers benefiting from their participation in the Youth Apprenticeship Program, school systems also are able to benefit from their participation. School systems currently participating in the Youth Apprenticeship Program are benefited by (1) keeping academic and occupational curricula up-to-date through communication with business and industry (2) providing access to the latest equipment and technology, (3) enhancing education’s ability to meet the needs of diverse student populations, (4) making education more relevant and valuable to students, (5) increasing student retention, (6) augmenting interaction between education and the business community, (7) promoting faculty interaction with the business community, (8) facilitating communication regarding actual academic and occupational proficiencies required by business and industry.
How does Youth Apprenticeship benefit the community that it serves? Youth Apprenticeship benefits the community by (1) providing an informed, competent, and productive future workforce, (2) ensuring cooperation and understanding between education, business, and the community, (3) enhancing awareness of local employment opportunities, (4) building the foundation for a more productive local economy.
If any local employer has an opportunity for one our students, please call 229.649.7520 and speak with Lehanne Singleton. We look forward to working with you.