Improving Youth Apprenticeship Data Quality: Challenges and Opportunities

By Advance CTE –  Published November 2020 in Advance CTESubscribe to the WFMonitor eNewsletter

This is our first summary on the topic of apprenticeships. Advance CTE is the longest-standing national non-profit that represents State CTE Directors and state leaders responsible for secondary, postsecondary, and adult Career Technical Education (CTE) across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

In this easy-to-read 18-page report, Advance CTE provides sound advice to educators, employers, state agencies, and NGOs seeking to start up and/or scale up youth apprenticeship programs. 

How to adopt, develop, and gather high-quality data about any youth apprenticeship program is the theme of this report. In that spirit, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA), an initiative of New America’s Center on Education and Labor as well as the PreK-12 Education program, convened a workgroup led by Advance CTE that was comprised of 29 various apprenticeship agencies and local intermediaries from all over the country.  The workgroup detailed five common-sense and most-common data quality challenges (described in brief below) that should ultimately assist leaders with improving and scaling youth apprenticeship programs:

  1. Determining What to Measure – Establish definitions and protocols for collecting data.
  2. Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities – What information is available and who is accountable for collecting it now and into the future?
  3. Building the Infrastructure – Existing data systems already exist in some states that track apprenticeship data. Plus, there are CRM platforms, such as Salesforce, that manage information, and various other technology companies that can help develop applications.    
  4. Accessing Data – Establish data-sharing agreements with relevant partners as well as legal rules related to privacy.
  5. Scaling and Sustaining – State leaders can play an important role in sustainability and scaling efforts. 

Apprenticeship Carolina was highlighted as a strong example of an impactful strategy for developing high-quality data about any youth apprenticeship programs.  Two additional examples provided were  the King County Apprenticeship program in the state of Washington and The TRACK: Tech Ready Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky.