National Apprenticeship Week

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2020 has been one of the most disruptive years in recent history for American workers and more people than ever are reevaluating their future and careers. This newfound need to branch out among job seekers has opened new opportunities in the form of apprenticeships. Through an apprenticeship, candidates looking for a change can earn new skills and start creating their own future across some of the top-performing industries nationwide. There has never been an easier way to start a new career or expand the current skills that a candidate has to offer to their existing industries.

The benefits of an apprenticeship do not end with job seekers and many employers are learning how working with this new employee type can help establish their workforce for the future, grow their business, or better serve their communities. To celebrate business leaders, job seekers, educational institutions, and other critical partners that have invested in apprenticeship programs, National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is proudly being held November 8-14, 2020. This week-long celebration is designed to highlight the benefits of apprenticeship and end skills gaps that affect modern businesses.

Any business can take advantage of modern apprenticeship programs to build their business and establish their future workforce – no matter what size they may be. In fact, there has never been a better time to get started. To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week and help more employers understand the benefits of these types of programs, this article will highlight some of the benefits that apprenticeship programs provide and explain how these programs can help bridge skills gaps across multiple, diverse industries.

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship creates a career pathway for job seekers as employers across multiple industries provide paid work experience and additional classroom instruction. Although the concept behind apprenticeships may be centuries old, many modern employers and job seekers have leveraged this opportunity to expand their career choices or break into new industries quickly. Some of the key characteristics that are associated with an apprenticeship include:

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    Paid Employment

    Unlike internships, apprentices are paid employees that are expected to provide high-quality work while also improving the skills that their employers are looking for. During this time, all work is paid for the apprentice.

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    Work Experience

    An apprenticeship provides on-the-job work experience through a structured learning process in a real-life work setting. This hands-on approach helps teach skills that are required to be successful within the associated industry.

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    Classroom Learning

    Classroom training is just as important for an apprentice as on-the-job training might be. Often, employers will have a set curriculum for an apprentice that may be completed virtually or in-person depending on the employer’s goals.

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    Mentorship Support

    A great apprenticeship program will require the assistance of a mentor that can help guide and teach a new employee. With this system in place, an apprenticeship program can help mold a new employee and enhance their learning.

In addition to these characteristics, apprenticeship programs will also provide the apprentice with nationally recognized credentials upon the completion of a program. This experience and credentials make it easier for those individuals to find new career opportunities within their chosen industry and make a positive impact on their new employer immediately. Even better, employers in nearly any industry can take advantage of an apprenticeship program with the appropriate resources in place.

Is an Apprenticeship Right for Your Business?

While apprenticeship programs may not be the right fit for every business, many businesses across a variety of industries find enormous success with these programs. As experts in developing business strategies for employers of all sizes, the team at Maennche Virtual CMO can help audit your existing programs to determine if an apprenticeship program can help your business. All it takes to get started is a consultation!

How Can an Apprenticeship Benefit an Employer?

For employers that are interested in adopting an apprenticeship program, or expanding similar programs they may have in place, many great benefits can be achieved. Most importantly, employers that have a successful apprenticeship program in place can mitigate turnover, improve productivity and establish their workforce for the future. Some of the other benefits that are possible with a high-quality apprenticeship program include:

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    Customized Training

    Apprenticeship programs create flexible training options that can help ensure that employees are developing the right skills. This employer-specific approach ensures that the apprentice is learning the rights skills at the right pace.

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    Reduced Turnover

    Working with apprentices can help reduce potential turnover and liability that is associated with hiring a new employee full-time; however, nearly 94% of apprentices nationwide choose to continue employment with a business following program completion.

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    Improved Diversity

    Apprenticeship programs can bring improved diversity to a workforce or industry by creating new opportunities for employment that help bridge skills gaps that are present. Often just having an apprenticeship program in place fosters a better company culture.

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    Increased Productivity

    One of the easiest ways to create a skilled workforce and improve productivity among employees is to train them internally and set the standard. Through apprenticeship programs, employers can improve productivity and retain highly skilled employees.

While just a small sample of the benefits that are associated with the development of an apprenticeship program, these are among the most popular for employers that are interested in getting started. Many case studies have been through some of the top businesses nationwide to determine these key benefits. No matter what industry a business may be in or how large they currently are, there is no denying that an apprenticeship program is one of the smartest ways to prepare your workforce for the future.

How Can an Employer Start an Apprenticeship Program?

A successful apprenticeship program will consist of five key components – paid employment, work experience, classroom learning, mentorship support, and credentials. With these key components in mind, employers will have a better idea of what is needed to create their own apprenticeship program or build their existing resources to transition them into an apprenticeship program. Some of the key factors that should be kept in mind throughout the process include:

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    Provide a Paid Opportunity

    An employer must commit to providing a wage progression for an apprentice for a program to be approved. Remember, apprentices are always paid employees that are expected to provide high-quality work while they continue to learn.

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    Structure On-the-Job Learning

    The training plan used for an apprenticeship program should provide the employee with hands-on training that helps improve their skills and comfort level performing job duties. If possible, use existing plans from the industry to determine the best progression.

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    Establish Classroom Learning

    Many employers choose to outsource classroom learning through an industry provider that can be delivered virtually through a vocational school or community college; however, if resources allow, classroom learning can be given on-premises.

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    Form Internal Mentorships

    Working with high-performing and seasoned professionals within an organization can help ensure that mentorship programs are passing on great knowledge to an apprentice. Establishing mentors before starting a program is critical for success.

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    Guarantee Credentials Upon Completion

    For an apprentice program to be registered, apprentices will need to receive a portable, nationally recognized credential whenever the program is completed. This only can be completed by registering your program and completed the requirements listed above.

For employers that are interested in starting their own apprenticeship program, it is important to understand the steps involved. The team behind Apprenticeship.gov has helped establish apprenticeships across a variety of industries and offer several approved training plans that have been thoroughly reviewed by leaders across those industries depending on the occupation title; however, if there is no approved apprenticeship program through the Registered Apprenticeship Program available, a little more work may be necessary.

Ready to Get Started?

National Apprenticeship Week has always been a celebration that is close to our hearts because we know the value of education in developing needed skills. Whether you are interested in building your workforce or establishing future success, the team at Maennche Virtual CMO is here to help you navigate the process or developing and establishing your own apprenticeship program. If you are ready to take advantage of these programs for your business but are not sure how to get started, we can help.