As businesses struggle to hire enough workers, and as many Utahns are striving to earn a living wage, the state launched Apprenticeship Utah, a new initiative promoting apprenticeships. Apprenticeship Utah provides resources for businesses, future apprentices and educators including a new comprehensive website - apprenticeship.utah.gov, a public awareness campaign and the Utah Apprenticeship Network. Apprenticeships provide a way for employers to address the current worker shortage while building a skilled workforce. Apprentices get paid for on-the-job training and earn more over their whole career.
To officially launch Apprenticeship Utah and the new website, businesses, educators and government partners gathered for a media event at the Post House construction site in Salt Lake City on August 11, 2021. This massive construction project is just one example of a place where apprentices work side by side with more experienced mentors to learn their trade.
When speaking at the event, Shaun Orr, vice-president of human resources at Big-D Construction said, "We really truly believe that it is a win-win situation. Apprentices win through professional development, career advancement and by learning a skill that they can carry through their lives. Employers win by building and retaining great-skilled, quality people.”
While traditionally found in industries like construction, utilities and skilled trades, apprenticeships are expanding to industries like healthcare and information technology. Apprentices who complete their programs earn more over their career than non-apprentice participants, and upon completion earn an average of $60,000 annually.