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What’s an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where students can obtain paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.

Apprenticeships at CCCS

CCCS helps companies build apprenticeship programs to meet their needs while supporting apprentices in accessing in-demand jobs through an earn and learn model. Our colleges have been longstanding partners in providing related training and instruction for apprenticeship programs. Recently, colleges are taking increasingly diverse roles in supporting this talent development strategy, including serving in a variety of intermediary roles up through being a program sponsor.

Benefits for students include:

  • Get paid while you go to school
  • Earn college credit for your apprenticeship
  • Gain the skills and credentials needed to work in one of Colorado’s fastest-growing industries

Plus, according to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • Those who complete an apprenticeship program earn an average of $300,000 more over their career when compared to peers who don’t
  • After apprenticeship completion, 92% of apprentices retain employment
  • The average salary after apprenticeship completion is $77,000


Featured Apprenticeship Programs

CCCS has partnered with industry and labor groups in healthcare and technology to develop the CO-HELPS and CO-TECH apprenticeship programs.

Common Apprenticeship Myths:

Fact: Apprenticeship programs are an investment that leads to higher productivity, lower turnover, and less recruitment costs. 94% of workers who complete a Registered Apprenticeship Program remain employed with the company where they completed the Registered Apprenticeship nationally. Businesses work with local community colleges, which will help assess training needs, determine the availability of funds, and provide training. In addition, the costs of an Apprenticeship Program can be shared by collaborating with other employers in the same industry. Beyond providing in-house mentorship and on-the-job skills training, the “ask” of employers is minimal. Any size of organization can launch an apprenticeship program, and in fact, small- and enterprise-level businesses can benefit greatly from the value-add an apprenticeship program brings to the workplace. Apprenticeship programs bring a repeatable, systematic approach to training that ensures your business has the highest skilled, certified workforce you need.

Fact: Quality is at the heart of apprenticeship. Apprenticeships meet a series of quality indicators that prove individuals are upskilled to an industry standard on a national scale. Launching an apprenticeship program has never been easier. Tools like National Guideline Standards mean that much of the legwork like certification and standards-mapping has been done for you in advance, and the classroom learning component of the program can be handled by out-of-house providers.

Fact: Apprenticeship Programs are customizable, making them an ideal solution for businesses where employees often wear many hats. Apprenticeships include a structured training plan, with a focus on mastering specific skills an employer needs to fill an occupation within their organization. Internships aren’t structured and often focus on entry-level general work experience. Apprentices also receive individualized training with an experienced mentor who walks them through their entire process.

Fact: Pairing on the job training with related instruction provides apprentices the technical and theoretical skills necessary for highly skilled jobs – providing your businesses with the very best talent pool possible. Apprentices receive an industry-recognized and nationally portable credential, meaning they are qualified across the industry to meet national standards. Apprentices may also receive a degree for their additional training, making them ideal future mentors in your business to continue to build and retain a skilled, specialized talent pipeline.

Visit the Colorado Registered Apprenticeship Program Directory to learn more and see what’s available across the state.