The latest survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there are six million job openings across the country, and only around 500,000 people currently working as apprentices.
Harold Sirkin, a contributor to Forbes, argues that investing apprenticeships will narrow the skills gap. As an example, Sirkin points to North Carolina.
Though the exact breakdowns and surrounding context are more complex than Sirkin’s back of the envelope calculations, state taxpayers spend $17,000 per year per student in the North Carolina state university system, and only $100 a year per student in the statewide apprenticeship program.
Is a 22-year-old recent college grad with a bachelor’s degree in communications studies, general psychology or political science—three of the most popular majors at UNC, Chapel Hill, the system’s flagship school—really worth that much more to North Carolina’s future than a skilled machinist or electrician?