Workers trained in apprenticeship programs earn higher wages in most cases compared with workers who only earn a high school diploma or use other types of one- or two-year training programs, according to a report released yesterday.

The report, released by Iowa Workforce Development, looks at a number of professions and compares wages earned by those who worked in an apprenticeship program with those who didn't. The participants analyzed are those with a residential address in Iowa who completed their program between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2011. It looked at average wages on a quarter-by-quarter basis from the fourth quarter of 2010 until the third quarter of 2013.

Professions where apprenticeships earned workers more money were electricians, plumbers, line maintainers, structural steel/ironworkers, pipe fitters, air conditioning equipment mechanics, millwrights (for the majority of the study period) and insulation workers.

The report is released as Gov. Terry Branstad is proposing to triple the amount of state funding allocated for apprenticeships from $1 million annually to $3 million under the existing 260F worker training program. In the state, there were 662 registered apprenticeship programs and more than 8,100 registered apprentices in fiscal year 2013.

Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said apprenticeships are often thought of as existing mainly in the building trades, but apprenticeships are widely used as a training model for manufacturing jobs in Europe, and it's a model that can apply to information technology workers.

"To me, it is the pathway to the Iowa dream," Durham said. "(People) know what their end game is going to be, it's already designed for them, and it builds loyalty within that workforce, so you don't see a lot of attrition. Plus, it's a training model that works."

To see the full 14-page report, click here.