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What is apprenticeship? 

Apprenticeship is an employer-based program that helps workers learn specialized skills needed in today’s work environment, combining on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction. Students earn nationally recognized credentials, while employers develop a talented team and close the skills gap. While many people start apprenticeships immediately after graduating from high school, they may also work well for veterans leaving active-duty military service, those looking to change careers, or people whose jobs are being replaced by technology. Here at Bladen Community College, our goal is to help connect and support employers and apprentices. 

Today’s apprenticeships cover a wide range of industries and occupations. Large and small companies across North Carolina and around the world use apprenticeship to train their employees and build a skilled workforce. NC companies using the apprenticeship model include CVS, Siemens, GSK, Atrium Health, Machine Specialties Inc., and hundreds of others. 

Just some of the apprenticeship opportunities offered by employers in North Carolina include those listed below, though there are many others: 

  • Healthcare (surgical technician, LPN, pharmacy tech, etc.) 
  • IT & cybersecurity 
  • Public safety (police, fire, EMS) 
  • Logistics & transportation 
  • Energy (line workers, etc.) 
  • Building trades (welder, electrician, plumbing, construction) 
  • Advanced manufacturing 
  • Finance & insurance 
  • Hospitality 

Types of apprenticeship

There are several types of apprenticeships: 

  • Pre-Apprenticeship is for high school students who have an interest in the specific field and want to work for the employer full- or part-time. The pre-apprentices are paid and are often offered full apprenticeships upon graduation from high school.  
  • Registered or full apprenticeships are for students who have selected their career pathway and want to train in all aspects of the occupation as they work full- or part-time. Registered apprenticeships also provide a wage scale that increases based on experience and skills learned.  

The word internship is often mistakenly used in place of apprenticeship. They are not the same. Internships are typically short-term offerings that allow students to explore occupations. Employers offering internships often do not have structured training in place or positions to offer interns upon completion of their internship. Interns also do not receive nationally recognized credentials upon completing the internship. 

Benefits of apprenticeship 

Both employers and apprentices benefit from a formal apprenticeship program. Apprenticeships offer students paid work-based learning and associated classroom learning as they earn nationally recognized credentials. Employers benefit with a well-trained workforce, improved loyalty, and reduced turnover. Learn more about the benefits for students and employers. 

The role of Bladen Community College 

BCC’s role is to provide crucial support, such as curriculum development, and deliver related instruction to apprentices. Community colleges work with local employers to customize classroom training to meet employer needs and supplement work-based learning. This collaborative effort enables employers to train employees to fill specific roles.

Your local community college may: 

  • Help develop curricula that allow apprentices to earn diplomas and certifications upon completion 
  • Offer grant funding available to pay for education assistance for specific industries  
  • Act as a resource partner for employers in providing the education for apprenticeship 
  • Become a resource for potential financial aid for apprentices 

Students, Parents, & Influencers FAQ

Apprenticeships are a great alternative pathway to a successful career. Benefits of apprenticeship include: 

  • Hands-on learning and job-related classroom or technical training provided 
  • Wages that increase as new skills are learned 
  • Earn national credentials, certifications, or college degrees 
  • Jump-start your career, supporting yourself and your family while learning 
  • Local employers offering apprenticeships give you the opportunity for a career close to home 

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