Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Arguing Apprenticeships

"[B]uilding trades apprenticeship programs provide the best model tokeep the construction industry on the high road and provide high quality jobs to the benefit of industry, the workers, and the greater community."

Corinne Wilson, Construction Apprenticeship Programs: Construction Training for California's Recovery, Center on Policy Alternatives, September 2009.

This report is one of the most concise yet comprehensive arguments for supporting the construction apprenticeship model.It's packed with useful data,analysis and recommendations.

But even the best of documents falls prey to moments of overstatement.

"Completion of apprenticeships programs creates household self sufficiency rather than reliance on tax-payer supported services." (So does becoming a phlebotomist)

"Creating more local jobs for apprentices is the key to a strong local economy." (A few other ingredients are needed)

"The green economy is large and growing rapidly." (Until the recession)

I agree with (and am hopeful about) this last notion -- although I think there needs to more realism about the jobs and understanding of who has been employed in these jobs.

"Since weatherization uses many of the same basic skills as many of the construction crafts, it is a perfect fit for pre-apprenticeships.


homework said...

do they include any figures on how diverse these apprenticeships are and how to improve on this front so that the high road green economy is an inclusive one?

Bob Giloth said...

Great question. The report focuses on California and shares some useful information on people of color and women in apprenticeships -- not as specific as I would like. There's a pretty good discussion throughout about needed services, etc. to ensure completion of apprenticeships -- but this applies to everybody. And the weatherization/preapprenticeship pathway is certainly geared to increase inclusion.