Apprenticeships an option for Oklahoma

At the recent Oklahoma Governor’s International Team meeting on May 16, Oklahoma Secretary of State Dave Lopez noted the opportunities available for those seeking work via apprenticeships in firms and government programs based in the state. Indeed, the need for such training positions looks likely to increase as the American economy works through the structural changes impacting so many current and future employees.

According to a piece by Melanie Dunn in Forbes, there is a growing need for apprenticeships in the American economy.

“Today there are nearly 5.5 million jobs that can’t be filled. The reason that they can’t be filled is that employers can’t find people with the right credentials to do the work. And job openings like this will continue to grow. Between now and 2030 it’s estimated that 50 million Baby Boomers will retire. And we have no plan for how to replace them. Another estimated 25 million new jobs will be created due to technological advancements.

“The fact is, we make it hard to get to work in this country. The economy has changed. Most people cannot afford college and drop out, 3.5 million per year (data calculated from National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). That’s 750,000 more than graduate with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees combined. The job market has changed. Today 60% of the job market is for jobs that require some education beyond high school but not four-year academic degrees.”

In Oklahoma there are numerous opportunities for apprenticeships, and here are a few resources domestically as well as some available with international firms.

According to the Dunn article, Australia, Canada and western European nations made significant steps in finding opportunities for those seeking stable employment without the requirement of a four year degree via apprenticeship programs. Here are a few examples.

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