Building an Apprenticeship and Training System for Maintenance Occupations

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​This article discusses the joint training and apprenticeship system emerging in maintenance occupations in the American transit industry, its challenges and strategies to overcome them. The article reports on early results, including efforts to develop a consensus national framework for apprenticeship and training in transit maintenance.


​Facing a looming shortage of skilled workers due to the introduction of new technologies, an upcoming wave of retirements, and generally inadequate levels of training, the American transit industry has begun to address the challenge of expanding skill development on a joint, industry-wide basis. Progressive local transit unions and employers across the country are taking action to improve training of maintenance employees. They are collaborating further to develop a nationally networked joint training and apprenticeship system. The system envisioned is data-driven and striving for high performance. They are seeking lessons from established apprenticeship programs in transit as well as benchmarking practices in other industries. They are also developing metrics to measure the effectiveness of the system and to guide its development.


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