Series| Catalysts

The lost art of apprenticeship

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The Master’s Apprentice is an organization that recruits young people from rough backgrounds – and gives them the skills to find quality careers in the trades.

“There’s a huge gap between youth looking for an opportunity… and businesses looking for quality employees.”

It’s been a problem for a long time. Urban youth without college educations find few opportunities, and often get stuck in menial jobs. On the other hand, many companies and small businesses can’t find skilled workers for good jobs. The training for them seems to have skipped a generation. The Master’s Apprentice is reviving an old idea – apprenticeship – to train urban youth from rough upbringings for rewarding careers. They’re recruiting and paying them while they study vocational education in carpentry, HVAC, masonry and electrical work – and general life skills they may never have gotten in disadvantaged neighborhoods and broken homes. It’s a career path they might never have considered, but it’s providing opportunity and a pathway into the middle class for kids who grew up in poverty.

In the latest episode of Catalysts, a Freethink original series produced with the Stand Together Foundation, we head to Colorado to see how The Master’s Apprentice transforms young adults’ lives and whether it can serve as a model for trade schools across the country.

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