Share"American businesses typically want someone else … to train their future employees," writes Peter Downs. Such is not the case in European nations, who are once again discovering the age old tradition of providing hands-on training to produce a well-trained and capable workforce.The fact that the U.S. has ignored this trend, and actually has declining apprenticeship rates, may stem from a stigma that apprenticeship is for the "dumb kids" who can't get grades good enough to go to college. (Read more.)In Switzerland, 70% of young people age 15-19 apprentice in hundreds of occupations, including baking, banking, health care, retail trade and clerical careers. In Germany, 65% of youth are in apprenticeships; in Austria 55%. All three countries have youth unemployment rates less than half of America's 16%. Last year, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Spain all asked Germany to help them set up similar systems.