A thought-provoking article about apprenticeship programs in Germany was published a while back in The Atlantic. It explains why a similar approach might be difficult to apply in North America. The author writes that “the metaphor I came away with is a native tree—flourishing, productive, highly adapted to its local climate zone, but unlikely to take root or grow in a climate as different as the Americas. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t adapt the German model. But it’s not going to be quick or easy.”
We also liked the explanation of why “blue collar” work is important: “In the future, there will be robots to turn the screws,” one educator told us. “We don’t need workers for that. What we need are people who can solve problems”—skilled, thoughtful, self-reliant employees who understand the company’s goals and methods and can improvise when things go wrong or when they see an opportunity to make something work better.
At Ewing Morris, we’ve created our own apprenticeship program; we call it the Ewing Morris Fellowship. The program provides aspiring investors with an opportunity to learn real skills while supporting our portfolio managers. If someone you know is interested, we would love to hear from them.