How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected State Apprenticeship Systems: Takeaways from Eight States

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected State Apprenticeship Systems: Takeaways from Eight States

Published: Aug 31, 2023
Publisher: Mathematica and The Urban Institute
Associated Project

Apprenticeship Evidence-Building Portfolio

Time frame: 2019-2024

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Labor

Chief Evaluation Office

Key Findings

Key takeaways include:

  • Leveraging technology allowed apprenticeship administrators to pivot their work online quickly and easily and to streamline work processes and by working virtually, state apprenticeship agencies continued supporting partners and expanded their reach and responsiveness.
  • Training providers and instructors faced logistical challenges transitioning in-person training online and, while many partners did not offer online apprenticeship training prior to the pandemic, they quickly adapted.
  • Online learning offers greater flexibility than in-person learning, despite certain challenges in implementing hybrid or remote learning options.
  • Some employers were reluctant to hire new apprentices during the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, but no mass cancellations of apprenticeships were reported by the state administrators interviewed for the study.
  • Expansion into nontraditional industries, like healthcare and education, accelerated during the pandemic to address workforce shortages and to meet employer demand.

This brief highlights key takeaways from virtual discussion groups in which apprenticeship administrators in eight states described how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their Registered Apprenticeship systems and how they and their apprenticeship partners responded to the pandemic. Topics discussed in the brief include how the COVID-19 pandemic affected state apprenticeship staff’s engagement with employers, training providers, and other partners in the apprenticeship system; how apprentice and industry engagement changed during the pandemic; reported challenges and successes in the provision of related training and instruction for apprentices; and potential implications for the future of apprenticeship systems in the states interviewed.

How do you apply evidence?

Take our quick four-question survey to help us curate evidence and insights that serve you.

Take our survey