Agencies in central Indiana are launching a new apprenticeship program for up to 30 high school students next school year. It’s part of a growing trend in the state to get students paid work experience and on-the-job skills before they graduate.
The program, led by Ascend Indiana and EmployIndy, is being called Modern Apprenticeships. The first apprentices would start in their junior year of high school at one of five high school districts in the Indianapolis area. They'll spend about 15 hours a week at one of 16 job sites, rather than in a classroom. Their workload would increase as the apprentices move into their senior year and graduate. Many apprenticeships offer a potential to move into the job full-time.
Bridget Boyle spoke on behalf of Roche Diagnostics, one of the companies hosting an apprenticeship in the pilot program next year. She said she hopes that once apprentices graduate high school, they’ll stay with the company and could even get some college paid for.
“It is really hard to find the talent that we need for today, much less build our talent pipelines for the future,” she said. “So that’s exactly what I see these Modern Apprenticeships helping us do.”
The youth apprenticeship program follows a similar model started in Elkhart County last year called CareerWise Elkhart County. It's in its second year, serving a total of about 20 students so far.