Since 2014, TOP has offered one-week-long apprenticeship study tours for workforce development professionals.
In 2017, TOP worked with the National Governors Association (NGA) to facilitate an apprenticeship tour to Germany and Switzerland for the governors of Kentucky, Oklahoma, and South Dakota.
Since 2018, TOP has worked with the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) of the New America Foundation to facilitate apprenticeship tours for grantees. In 2019, participants visited apprentice training facilities in Germany and in the Charlotte, North Carolina region during one study tour
These tours provide participants with a comprehensive, 360-degree perspective of the world-renown German apprenticeship model. The goal of the apprenticeship tours is to provide best-practice examples as inspiration for new strategic partnerships and workforce development solutions in the United States.
The 2020 apprenticeship tour did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 apprenticeship tour took place virtually leading up to and during the 2021 National Apprenticeship Week.
Apprenticeship tour participants typically include the following professionals:
- Senior management: business leaders, human resources directors, strategic partnership directors.
- Public policy experts: state and federal education and labor agencies, NGOs.
- Community/technical college leadership: chancellors, presidents, strategic partnership directors.
- Regional/community experts: chambers of commerce employees, school district supervisors, journalists.
Apprenticeship tour topics and site visits typically include:
- School visits/interaction with school pupils in the 8-10th grades.
- Employment agencies.
- Apprentice training facilities at small- and medium-sized companies.
- Apprentice training facilities focusing on integration and inclusion.
- Apprentice training facilities at DAX30 companies.
- Partner vocational schools and universities of applied sciences.
- Chambers of Commerce.
- Federal Agencies such as the Federal Institute for VET (BIBB).