The Benefits of Participating in Manufacturing Apprenticeships

Elizabeth Ruiz

Posted 11/22/23

manufacturing apprenticeship

Although they have been proven to be beneficial, manufacturing apprenticeship programs are often overlooked by people entering the manufacturing workforce. Why is there a lack of interest in these programs? What is being done to create interest? What are the benefits of participating in apprenticeship programs?

Why is there a lack of interest in manufacturing apprenticeships?

A November 13 report from Multiverse and the Burning Glass Institute found that around 70% of the workforce in the US could benefit from apprenticeships and on-the-job learning opportunities. So why have they been unpopular?

According to the New World Encyclopedia, the Industrial Revolution changed the way the job market works, and the length of apprenticeships became undesirable for people who wanted to enter the workforce and immediately start making money. For people who wanted to spend the time on higher education, a long apprenticeship was also less attractive.

What is being done to create interest in manufacturing apprenticeships?

Fortunately, the demand for the training and practical education offered by manufacturing apprenticeships is making a comeback all over the world. 

In the US, Manufacturing Dive reports that the White House has launched initiatives to create “workforce hubs” in many parts of the country. There are also a number of nonprofit efforts making a difference around the US. Read more about some of these programs here. The UK has created the adult apprenticeship system that can be used as a model to create new apprenticeship opportunities and wage increases over time. 

With initiatives like these, it is possible for future generations to start inheriting craft skills and traditions along with learning modern skills and technology. 

What are the benefits of participating in apprenticeship programs?

Manufacturing apprenticeships can be beneficial to both employees and employers. From a statement by the president from the Burning Glass Institute, “Apprenticeships can be a powerful mechanism for unlocking worker potential and bridging the gap between workers yearning for opportunity and businesses starving for talent.”

The Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium has put together a list of 5 benefits potential employees can receive by participating in a manufacturing apprenticeship: 

  • Learning from experienced manufacturing professionals.
  • Receiving hands-on training.
  • Getting real work experience.
  • Increasing your earning potential.
  • Being paid to learn.

Employer benefits outlined by EDSI include: 

  • Helps recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce.
  • Improves productivity and bottom line.
  • Provides opportunities for tax credits and employee tuition benefits.
  • Return on Investment.
  • Reduces turnover costs and increases employee retention.
  • Creates industry-driven and flexible training solutions to meet national and local needs.

Read about even more benefits from Apprenticeship USA.

List of (some) current manufacturing apprenticeship and educational programs: 

Now that we have explored the many benefits of participating in and implementing manufacturing apprenticeship, educational, and nonprofit programs, take some time to explore options. You may find one that is a good fit for you, or you may get some ideas to implement in your own business. 

Apprenticeship and Education: 

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs)

Industrial Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship

ToolingU SME

AJAC Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeships

The Council of Industry

Manufacturing USA

Future48 Workforce Accelerators


Towards Employment 

Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC)

Northland Workforce Training Center

Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership


Manufacturing apprenticeships offer substantial benefits for individuals and employers and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity after being underutilized for many years. The reluctance towards apprenticeships is now being addressed through educational and nonprofit initiatives worldwide. 

These programs provide practical education, hands-on training, and various advantages for both apprentices and employers. Employees gain real work experience, increase earning potential, and are paid to learn. Employers benefit from recruiting skilled talent, improving productivity, and accessing incentives like tax credits. 

The current landscape of manufacturing apprenticeship programs reflects a hopeful shift towards recognizing and leveraging the value of these initiatives for building a resilient and skilled workforce.

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