New Survey Identifies the Benefits of Apprenticeship Programs and How they Differ Across Industry

Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Steven Pennington

In a previous post, we explored some of the key findings from the recently published North Carolina Registered Apprenticeship Survey Report, including the financial returns associated with businesses’ apprenticeship programs. According to the survey responses from employers, the average ROI among their apprenticeship programs created an additional $1.70 of value for every $1.00 invested in apprentices. In this post, we’ll investigate some of the mechanisms through which apprentices provide these returns to businesses and some of the differences between programs in various industry sectors.

Employers in the survey were asked to identify the specific benefits provided by their apprenticeship programs. Increasing employees’ flexibility and productivity were the most commonly cited advantages of apprenticeships.

For many employers, apprenticeship programs not only improve employee retention among new hires but also help retain employees who were formerly apprentices. Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents said that employee turnover among journeyworkers (employees who have completed apprenticeship programs) is lower than turnover among other employees (30% reported that turnover is about the same; 15% were not sure).

Employers were also asked to identify the industry sector in which their companies primarily operate. The sectors included three industry groups: 1) Manufacturing, 2) Construction, and 3) All Others. While employers’ responses were fairly similar across these three groups, they differed somewhat when it came to apprentice compensation. Manufacturing programs tended to pay lower wages, while the average manufacturing program training costs were significantly higher.

For additional findings from the survey, please check out the Survey Report. Businesses interested in creating an apprenticeship program are encouraged to contact ApprenticeshipNC staff at the North Carolina Community College System.

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