For many homeschool parents, the question of What to Do About High School becomes more pressing when their kids become teenagers. Issues of college and career readiness become more significant, and the situation can be overwhelming.
An apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship can be a great option for some students at this stage of their homeschool education. The experience can provide a student with a meaningful opportunity to learn a trade or explore a job or industry that they are interested in — while getting paid to do it! An apprenticeship can be a bridge to a career or an opportunity to get real-world experience before committing to a (potentially very expensive) college degree.
What is an Apprenticeship?
According to the apprenticeship.gov website, a Registered Apprenticeship is “an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.”
Apprenticeships are overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor or a state apprenticeship agency. Required hours, competencies, and coursework vary by industry and role.
How Can I Find Out About Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Opportunities in NH?
NH has many great apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities that homeschool parents might not be aware of. Here’s how to find them.
ApprenticeshipNH is a grant-funded program that partners with local businesses to set up apprenticeship opportunities. You can find current available apprenticeships at apprenticeshipnh.com by clicking on the “Opportunities” tab at the top of the page.
The requirements vary for each opportunity, but apprenticeship listings containing the “High School Friendly” badge are posted by employers who have specifically indicated that they are willing to work with high school age students — i.e., accommodating a high schooler’s class schedule, offering weekend hours, etc. (Note that posted apprenticeships without this badge may also be open to working with high school age students.) As of this writing, the available apprenticeships with the “High School Friendly” badges are: General Insurance Associate, Automotive Technician, Welder/Fitter, and Carpenter.
The opportunities available through ApprenticeshipNH come with fantastic benefits. ApprenticeshipNH covers the costs of any community college courses that the apprenticeship program requires! In addition, they will also help fund the cost the employer incurs in paying the apprentice. Note that these particular benefits are available only if the student acquires the internship through ApprenticeshipNH.
Pre-apprenticeships may also be available. In late 2020, ApprenticeshipNH expanded through a federal grant to launch the Apprenticeship NH High School Program, a program designed specifically for high school students. This program follows a pre-apprenticeship-to-Registered-Apprenticeship model. It begins with work-based learning/pre-apprenticeship in 10th and 11th grade where students learn skills designed to prepare them to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship.
To find out more about the pre-apprenticeship program, and to find out about available pre-apprenticeship opportunities, contact Liz Arcieri (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Ann Gaschnig (email@example.com).
ApprenticeshipNH posts new opportunities on their Facebook page, and also offers virtual information sessions that anyone can attend by registering on the ApprenticeshipNH website.
Additional NH apprenticeship opportunities can be found at apprenticehsip.gov. Search by state to find the apprenticeships located in NH. As of this writing there were 88 results, with apprenticeships available in roles including Pharmacy Technician, Stylist, Dog Trainer, Automotive Technician, Medical Assistant, Jeweler, and Tile Setter. Although the qualifications for each role vary, many of these opportunities do not require a high school diploma or specific prior experience or coursework.
By Deborah Mack