There are 5.8 million job openings in the US, but many young Americans lack the stills needed to work the good-paying jobs offered in the trades.
This article from CNN Money discusses the current state of apprenticeship programs in America. Many programs allow students to earn as they learn, as opposed to traditional college programs that often see young people begin their working years burdened by student loan debt.
As one of several examples, article mentions Mike Taylor who graduated with $75,000 debt and turned to an apprenticeship program when he was unable to find employment through his degree.
Taylor is now in a 5-year apprentice program at Plumbers Local 1 in Queens, N.Y. Every two weeks, he attends class one day and works nine days -- each of those days, including his class, are paid for by the program.... Wages may not be growing across the country, but they are growing for many apprentices... Taylor makes $28 an hour. Next year, as his skills improve, he will make $42 an hour. Taylor has paid down much of his student loan debt and he bought a house in Hazlet, NJ, last year with his wife, who's expecting their first child.