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Report: Apprenticeships are a pathway to advancement for workers in ‘high-churn, low-pay jobs’

A new study sponsored by Multiverse notes economic mobility is possible across industries and occupations

A new report states 36 million workers in the U.S. are “stranded in high-churn, low-pay jobs.” Unlocking potential: Pathways for low-wage workers to quality jobs through apprenticeshipsfrom Burning Glass Institute and sponsored by Multiverse – finds this workforce could move into good jobs by way of apprenticeships.

According to the report, “high-churn” is defined as those whose median job tenure is 18 or fewer months. “Low-wage” is defined as workers with a $17 or less median hourly wage. Among the most common occupations where opportunities for advancement exist – truck drivers, cashiers, servers, childcare workers, and security guards.

“With the acceleration and maturation of AI-based technologies, many workers and employers are rightfully concerned about the automation susceptibility of their jobs,” notes the report.

“This analysis shows that the identified high churn, low-wage occupations are highly susceptible to automation, with an average 73% probability of automation among all high churn, low-wage occupations.”

Opportunity Via Apprenticeships

The report identifies “apprentice-able” jobs that could lift workers out of high-churn, low-wage jobs. These so-called “target jobs” include IT project managers, computer systems analysts, licensed practical and vocational nurses, and software developers – which, based on 2022 job postings, do not necessarily require a bachelor’s degree.

“Target jobs should be in demand with an expected growth trajectory of 5% or more between 2021 to 2031,” states the report, in addition to requiring some on-the-job training.

“Non-white, women, and foreign-born workers dominate low-wage, high-churn jobs while comprising a smaller share of higher-quality target jobs,” notes the report. Transitioning into target jobs can “improve diversity across ethnicity, nationality, and gender in target occupations.”

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