Florida, after these many months of nationwide (and global) recession, still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. While it is understandable for out-of-work folks to steadfastly remain in pursuit of a job from within their chosen fields, the reality is that some career fields have seen the outright elimination of jobs that may never return. Accordingly, some people will have little choice but to look for something completely different if they want to work again. One possibility that few seem to consider as a way of breaking into a new field is the apprenticeship. Indeed, for those without the financial resources necessary to return to school, seeking out an apprenticeship may be the best way to return to a meaningful career.
The concept of apprenticeships can be traced back to the middle ages. It was very common for a young person to study under a craftsman for many years to learn a trade. The arrangement would many times include the apprentice actually living with the master tradesman and being provided housing and food as part of the on the job training. Apprenticeships are still around today and for many provide the perfect opportunity to inexpensively learn a trade. A great resource for apprenticeship opportunities comes in the form of the U.S. Department of Labor website.
What types of jobs are available through Registered Apprenticeship?
The U.S. Department Of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program offers access to 1,000 career areas, including the following top occupations:
• Able seaman
• Child care development specialist
• Construction craft laborer
• Dental assistant
• Elevator constructor
• Fire medic
• Law enforcement agent
• Over-the-road truck driver
Employers can benefit from a variety of government incentives by participating in these federally sanctioned programs. While this is not the only place to look for an apprenticeship, it would be one of the best places to start your search.
Using Google to find all the apprenticeship opportunities in your area
A search of the word apprenticeship and your state (e.g. IL apprenticeship) will bring up dozens of results to look into.
State Departments of Labor
Most states have an officially designated office that is the equivalent of the U.S. Department of Labor. Checking directly with your state is another great place to continue your search.
Contact your local union
Many apprenticeship programs are administered by local unions. Contact the administrative offices of the trade you are interested in to learn of any available apprenticeship opportunities.
Apprenticeships vs. internships
Apprenticeships are much different than internships. An apprenticeship is usually for several years, compared to an internship which is typically several months (or maybe even just a few weeks). Most internships do not provide any compensation, while apprenticeships typically offer a minimal living wage that can be increased as the apprentice reaches various milestones.