The completion behavior of registered apprentices in Canada: who continues, who quits, and who completes programs?

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Laporte, Christine
Mueller, Richard E.
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Background: The number of registered apprentices in Canada more than doubled between 1995 and 2007, yet successful completion of apprenticeship programs increased by only about one-third as much. Uncovering the factors related to low completion rates is a necessary first step to ensuring that today’s skilled labour is replaced in the future. Methods: This study utilizes a series of multinomial probit models and the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey (NAS) to investigate the completion behaviour of individuals enrolled in apprenticeship programs. These behaviours include continuing, discontinuing (or quitting), and completing programs. The NAS contains detailed demographic information regarding respondents’ backgrounds and the characteristics of apprenticeship programs. Results: Program completion is positively related to a variety of demographic characteristics, including being married and having completed at least a high school education prior to beginning an apprenticeship. Males and females have similar completion probabilities. Completion is negatively related to time in the apprenticeship program (beyond the normal program length) and the number of employers during training. Type of technical training and having a journeyperson always present enhance the probability of completion. The regional unemployment rate has little effect on whether an individual completes an apprenticeship program or not. There are also large provincial and trade group differences. Conclusions: Although this research has identified a number of factors correlated with apprenticeship completion, further research could address the benefits of completion such as wages and probability of employment. A more detailed examination of the variety of obstacles encountered by apprentices during training may also be useful in redesigning programs to enhance completion.
Sherpa Romeo green journal: open access
Registered apprentices , Discontinuation , Long-term continuation , Program completion
Laporte, C., & Mueller, R.E. (2013). The completion behavior of registered apprentices in Canada: who continues, who quits, and who completes programs? Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 5(1), 1-30. doi:10.1186/1877-6345-5-1