Apprenticeships are structured training programs that combine paid on-the-job learning with classroom instruction and provide a pathway to industry-recognized qualifications in in-demand occupations. For workers, the apprenticeship route can offer an alternative to traditional college (and college debt), yet traditionally, women have been much less likely to be apprentices than men. Since 2015, the US government has invested over $1 billion to expand apprenticeships to new occupations and sectors, modernize the apprenticeship system, and improve the gender and racial diversity of apprentices.

Apprenticeships are also at the heart of the federal infrastructure and clean economy investments. The Biden Administration has communicated a clear expectation that these investments should lead to good-paying jobs with family-sustaining wages that are accessible to workers of all backgrounds, including women and workers from underserved communities. Apprenticeships are central to ensuring that a skilled workforce is available to fulfill these commitments.

Check out IWPR’s latest report analyzing whether the commitments to greater gender and racial equity in apprenticeship pathways are being realized and whether women and men are equally likely to achieve jobs with family-sustaining wages following apprenticeships.