Serving Bay, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, & Saginaw Counties

Apprenticeships Offer Another Method of Talent Development

Apprenticeships Offer Another Method of Talent Development

While MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan is a strategy to “grow your own,” apprenticeships are a strategy for “learning while earning.”

Lasting from one to six years, apprenticeships connect education and work simultaneously. Apprentices take classes while they are working. At the end, they earn industry-recognized credentials and in many cases earn college credits that may lead to an associate or bachelor’s degree.

The best part is the flexibility for employers, says Sheril Tarrant, apprenticeship coordinator for Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! “Apprenticeships can basically be customized to meet the needs of any business. Apprentices can be new hires or current employees who need skill upgrades. Many family owned companies are using apprenticeships as part of their succession plan. They are training the leaders within their own companies to prepare them to one day run the entire operation.”

Common in industries like construction and manufacturing, apprenticeships are becoming popular for growing industries like health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, and energy.

Is an apprenticeship a job? “Absolutely,” says Tarrant. “Apprentices start working when they enter an apprenticeship, with steady wage increases as they become more proficient.” This is a systematic approach to training that ensures employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for their occupation.

The benefits for employers are highly skilled employees, reduced turnover rates, increased productivity, and lower cost of recruitment. Business may also qualify for state-based tax credits available for apprenticeship program sponsors.

If you or your employer is curious about how apprenticeships might work in your organization, contact your Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! business services team representative or contact Tarrant at

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