Opening Doors to Apprenticeship for English Language Learners
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Employers and labor organizations in the United States use apprenticeships to provide workers with technical education and paid on-the-job training leading to wage increases and higher-skilled jobs. When English learners participate in apprenticeships, employers benefit from an expanded pipeline of qualified employees and a more diverse workforce, and immigrant workers gain the qualifications and experience they need to realize their potential at work. This research study involved 66 interviews with ESL instructors, program staff, and thought leaders to learn to what extent English learners are participating in apprenticeships, what are the key elements of apprenticeships serving English learners, and what will be needed to sustain and scale apprenticeships equitably. Findings suggest that adult education providers have the tools to support ESL students’ successful participation in apprenticeships, and that additional guidance and alignment of public and private resources will be needed to sustain and scale a more inclusive apprenticeship model.