Number of people served by ApprenticeshipNC nearly doubles in three years, tops 15,000

Number of people served by ApprenticeshipNC nearly doubles in three years, tops 15,000

The number of people served by North Carolina’s apprenticeship program has nearly doubled in the past three years, according to a new report from the NC Community College System.

ApprenticeshipNC served 15,657 people in the 2020 fiscal year, the most in 10 years, the report said.

That number is 37% more than in fiscal year 2019, and participation has grown by 80% in the three years since the program moved to the community college system.

“Apprenticeship is an extremely valuable tool for North Carolina businesses wanting to grow their own workforce,” said Maureen Little, the system’s vice president of economic development. “In the last year alone, ApprenticeshipNC registered 117 new apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and on-the-job learning programs.”

The number of youth apprentices served by the program grew 18% during the fiscal year that ended June 30, rising to 890. Youth apprenticeship increased 87% between fiscal years 2018 and 2020. Youth apprentices are ages 16 to 18.

“The popularity of youth apprenticeships continues to rise because high school students see the value of jumpstarting their career through work-based training and taking tuition-free community college courses under the Career and College Promise program,” said Bill Carver, interim president of the community college system.

Apprenticeship is an employer-driven training model that combines paid work-based learning with related classroom instruction. Apprentices’ wages increase as they progress through the program. Upon completion of training, participants earn state and federal certificates signifying their knowledge and skill set in a field. Depending on the program, apprentices also may complete an associate degree or other credential.

ApprenticeshipNC, which is part of the community college system, works with businesses, industry groups and other organizations to establish registered apprenticeships in North Carolina.

Public safety largest employment sector among apprentices

  • Among industry sectors, public safety was the largest with 29% of apprentices; 18% were in construction and 14% in energy.
  • The number of apprentices at U.S. Army Fort Bragg grew by 53% to 1,532. Across the state, 4,820 active duty military personnel participated in or completed apprenticeship training during the fiscal year.

Employers interested in starting a registered apprenticeship program can learn more by visiting

Graph showing growth in number of people served by Apprenticeship NC