Assesses registered apprenticeship (RA) programs and includes cost analysis, effectiveness in benefits for women apprentices, and generalizability across states.

"The study measured the net effects of apprenticeship for participants as well as the social costs and benefits of registered apprenticeship across a variety of state settings. The study considered whether substantial net social benefits found by previous research for Washington state could be found in a wide range of other states. The study also examined the barriers that women face in RA and the best practices for promoting their success. In addition, the study explored whether federal and state administered RA programs have patterns of differences in the programs themselves and their outcomes. Specifically, the study addressed four questions:

1. Is RA effective in raising the annual earnings and employment of participants?

2. Do the total social benefits of RA outweigh the total social costs?

3. What are the experiences of women in RA and what can be done to further promote their success in the program?

4. Are there differences between the RA programs of states administered by the OA and of states administered by SAAs?"(p.xiii) (Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: An Effectiveness Assessment  and Cost-Benefit Analysis of  Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States: Final Report


Major Findings & Recommendations

Findings: "Registered Apprenticeship (RA) participants had substantially higher earnings than did nonparticipants. The benefits of the RA program appear to be much larger than the costs. Female apprentices expressed positive views of RA but recommended some changes to promote women’s success. RA programs are largely similar in OA [U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship] and SSA [State Apprenticeship Agency] states" (p.xiv). Conclusion: "RA appears to be effective at increasing the earnings of participants and achieving net social benefits across a wide range of state settings. Our estimates show that participation in RA was associated with substantial gains in earnings of $47,586 over a nine-year period following enrollment in the program. Over the career of an apprentice, the gain in total compensation, including employer-sponsored health insurance and other benefits, averages $123,906. Our research design does not conclusively identify the causal impact of RA on earnings; however, even if only one-half of the estimated earnings gain is causal, we estimated a net social benefit of $29,042 in the medium term and $61,596 over an apprentice’s career. The finding of strong, positive net social benefits is robust to a number of assumptions regarding the costs and benefits of RA. The estimates of strong, positive net social benefits suggest that the benefits of RA outweigh the costs. However, we are not able to determine the extent to which these benefits are due to government investments compared to employer investments that might occur even without the RA program. With this in mind, we note that, even if government investment in RA is responsible for only 5 percent of the greater productivity of apprentices, the government investment still has positive net social benefits" (p.xxi). (Abstractor: Author)