This week is the 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) - a chance to highlight and celebrate how apprenticeships are reshaping the world of education and employment, addressing workforce challenges, and creating thousands of life-changing opportunities for people at every stage of their career.

The number of apprenticeships in the US are growing fast: passing 636,000 in 2020, a 64% increase compared to a decade ago.

The fastest growing apprenticeships are in digital and tech, for the simple reason that this is where roles are being created. In light of this, many of the top companies in tech and beyond are scrapping degrees as a requirement for their top jobs.

What is a professional apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are a game-changing alternative to college and corporate training.

Apprentices spend 12+ months learning relevant, in-demand skills while in full-time employment. It is free to the individual - and they earn a salary. Companies benefit from advanced skills among their workforce.

No college degree is required for an apprenticeship, and they can be started at any stage of a person’s career. Apprentices range from young people at the start of their career, through to established professionals developing their skills or reskilling to enter a new line of work.

As more businesses seek to build high demand skills in-house, apprenticeships are becoming a more viable route into the top careers. With 41% of grads in jobs that don’t require a degree, the growth of professional apprenticeships creates a direct and meaningful career pathway for young adults.

What is Multiverse?

Multiverse is creating a diverse group of future leaders by building an outstanding alternative to university and corporate training.

We work with more than 350 organisations in the US and UK to find, develop and grow talented individuals from diverse backgrounds through our world-leading apprenticeship programs.

Multiverse apprentices receive one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programs designed to exceed the best of the college experience.  Unlike previous trends toward static, online learning, Multiverse professional apprenticeships recognise that the value lies in live coaching and application, with a focus on real-world experience, social learning and performance feedback.

We launched in the US in January 2021, alongside a record-breaking Series B round. Since then, we have grown from strength to strength - receiving Regulatory Approval from the Department of Labor and announcing a Series C round to continue our expansion.

What’s it like doing a Multiverse apprenticeship?

Andrew Cascino began a Data apprenticeship with leading insurance company Chubb in New York, through Multiverse.

I initially followed the traditional path and went to college right out of high school. I ended up leaving the first institution because they didn’t have the major I wanted. The second institute was better, but the instruction model wasn’t for me. My professors lectured, gave us passages to read, then tested us. I wanted more hands-on learning.
The apprenticeship route allowed me to learn something I’ve always been fascinated by – at no cost. I’ve picked up so many technical skills and get real satisfaction out of solving issues. Even better, my manager is so helpful and always takes time out to explain things or point me in the right direction.

Read more of Andrew’s story

What are the benefits for employers?

Walk into any boardroom meeting (or, more likely, videoconference) today and no doubt they’ll be discussing one of the most pressing challenges of today - how do we get the right skills? and, How do we represent the people we serve?

The answer isn’t to rely on more of the same - school and university isn’t solving the digital skills crisis, and it certainly isn’t driving diversity. Degree requirements in job ads screen out 74% of Black Americans and 81% of Hispanic Americans. So companies who use them are missing the chance to hire some of the most talented individuals

Apprenticeships offer a radically more equitable solution: of the professional apprentices that we place, 53% are people of colour, more than half are women and 34% come from economically under-served communities.

All the while, professional apprenticeships answer the specific needs companies have. The fastest growth areas are in digital and tech, where the economy is crying out for diverse talent.

Professional apprenticeships have been transformed and are continuing to transform: both outcomes for businesses, and career paths for individuals. They are the best way to hire and develop the talent America needs right now.