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Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning for Intermediaries

What Is a Work-Based Learning Intermediary?

A work-based learning intermediary is an organization—or a collaboration of several organizations—that coordinates across stakeholders for effective and efficient design and implementation of work-based learning programs.

Intermediaries are often industry associations, joint labor-management organizations, community colleges, workforce boards, chambers of commerce, or community-based organizations.

How Intermediaries Support Work-Based Learning

Intermediaries convene key stakeholders, such as industry partners, educational institutions, labor unions, and community-based organizations, to broker relationships and arrange for the provision of services. They conduct outreach to industry, aggregate employer demand for work-based learning, and broker placements for work-based learning participants.

Intermediaries may also support the implementation of work-based learning programs by, for example, helping employers write job descriptions, offering guidance to the employees who will supervise work-based learning participants, and working with educational institutions to help them prepare students for work-based learning experiences. Intermediaries also research, document, and advocate for best practices, and they can build public and political support for apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs.

Finally, they serve as the administrative leaders of programs to reduce the workload for other partners. In the case of Registered Apprenticeships, playing the lead administrative role can mean serving as the program sponsor or as an expert partner that can assist with the state or federal registration process.

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WBL Resources for Intermediaries


Registered Apprenticeship Roles and Responsibilities: Intermediaries and Sponsors

This tool helps organizations decide whether they should serve as an intermediary or sponsor and identify the skills and resources they will need to successfully implement the role that they decide to play. This tool…

April 13, 2022

The Role of Apprenticeship Intermediaries

This webinar explored and highlighted the growing role of apprenticeship intermediaries. It featured national experts who have operated successful intermediaries and helped grow apprenticeship across the nation. This webinar explored and highlighted the growing role…

June 1, 2018

Seven Ways Intermediaries Help Develop Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship—a paid, credentialed, work-based learning approach that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction—is gaining momentum in technical fields across the US.

October 7, 2016

JFF WBL Bookshelf: Intermediaries

Our favorite resources on work-based learning for intermediaries from across the field.

May 31, 2020

Examples of WBL Intermediaries

Case Study

KDP Enhances Apprenticeship Opportunities With Group Sponsorship, Mentoring

This profile highlights how KDP, a Pennsylvania intermediary, uses mentorship and group sponsorship to strengthen and develop the IMT. Intermediary Profile Keystone Development Pipeline (KDP) This workforce product was funded by a grant awarded by…

November 22, 2019
Case Study

Workforce Development Institute: Teamwork Makes the IMT Dream Work

This profile highlights how WDI, a Michigan intermediary, expands the IMT apprenticeship program through building and maintaining close relationships with employers. Intermediary Profile Workforce Development Institute (WDI) This workforce product was funded by a grant…

February 20, 2020