Modern apprenticeships are helping close the skills gap and keep employees engaged. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, there is expected to be a shortage of 5 million workers equipped with technical certifications, credentials, and skills by 2020. Apprenticeships can help solve this problem, however, many companies are not taking advantage of apprenticeship programs. England, for example, started 510,000 new apprenticeships in 2012, while the U.S. only started 147,000. Part of the reason is that American employers simply aren’t aware of the benefits apprenticeships can bring, such as helping to build a pipeline of skilled workers directly into a company’s workforce; the ability to customize the workforce’s skills to suit the company’s needs; boosting levels of employee retention; saving money on wages; and making a net gain on investments in such programs. In favor of apprenticeships, Werner Eikenbusch, BMW’s head of talent management for the Americas asks, “Are you willing to think long-term and invest on the front end, because you’re going to have the return on investment through the career of a successful and productive employee?”