Top 5 Reasons Employers Need Registered Apprenticeship Programs
The legislation for Registered Apprenticeships was signed into law in 1937. The National Apprenticeship Act (NAA), also known as the Fitzgerald Act greatly influenced Registered Apprenticeships as it is today. (Apprenticeship USA, n.d.)
Registered Apprenticeships are changing the way companies hire in the USA. It is a relatively new workforce strategy but with proven results in establishing the future workforce of an organization. It can ensure a steady pipeline of a skilled workforce.
There are 11M job openings currently in the USA but only 5.7M workers to fill the gap. The reason for this is that a huge population of the workers do not necessarily have the skills to fill the openings for skilled and professional jobs. (Accenture, n.d.)This is the gap that registered apprenticeships try to fill - with upskilling or reskilling workers to become competent in their chosen industry.
What is a Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP)?
A registered apprenticeship is a career pathway employers can develop their future workforce with on the job hands on learning combined with classroom instruction.
Workers are given a competitive wage and provided with a mentor and structured on the job learning. The programs are also industry-vetted which ensures that workers gain the skills needed in their profession. They are also able to earn a portable credential, which is also a gain for an employer in that their workers have the credentials and that they have a competitive workforce in their industry.
The Need for Registered Apprenticeships
A common challenge for employers and organizations is acquiring skilled talent. Most of the US workforce, especially those without a college degree, are left out of consideration. This creates a huge gap and results in most American workers being left out, especially in the current economy increasingly influenced by technology and automation.
A huge consideration most often left out, is that there is no shortage of talented workers. However, they do not have access to professions who are looking for skilled workers. There are also employers who use automated systems that filter out those who do not meet specific educational and experience requirements. There are also organizations whose culture for hiring is based on legacy, further limiting workers' opportunities.
The gap in finding skilled talent has “particularly increased in high-growth, high-demand (HGHD) industries, including clean energy, information technology (IT), data science, healthcare, banking and finance, and more.” (Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, n.d.)
How can we bridge the gap?
Registered Apprenticeships offer employers a new pool of untapped talent. This will help companies build an inclusive workforce that they can hone according to their standards and fill open and future positions. Aside from gaining new workers, an employer is also able to promote a culture of inclusivity for the whole of their workforce.
Top 5 Reasons Employers Need RAPs?
Registered Apprenticeships benefit both employers and workers. For workers, it is a great opportunity to hone their skills and attain gainful employment. For employers and organizations, there are a host of benefits.
#1 Recruiting a Highly-Skilled Workforce
Having a Registered Apprenticeship program helps ensure that workers are highly-trained on skills that a company requires. Employers are able to hone and mold workers according to their standards from the get-go. It also helps ensure that there is a steady pipeline of workers ready to fill in whenever there is a need. Workers are also familiarized and instilled with the culture of the company.
Having an apprenticeship program also gives employers that chance to customize their training and program according to their needs and the talent they want to produce. “This strategic approach fills short-term skills gaps, nurtures long-term future leaders, and fosters a workforce that’s prepared to meet future challenges.” (CMS Vocational Training, 2023)
An apprenticeship also has the benefit of making it easier to develop future managers. It becomes easier for an organization to plan the succession of their managers and ensure that their workers are fully ready to take on a new role when promoted to the next level.
Lastly, having an apprenticeship program promotes a culture of learning within the organization. It fosters an environment of continuous improvement which leads to workers being innovative and being more productive.
#2 Improving Productivity & Profitability
Employers can improve their productivity and profitability through apprenticeships. Registered apprenticeships lead to lower recruiting costs since there is a ready pipeline of workers. It saves an employer having to spend on pre-screening candidates.
These workers are also already trained and skilled according to an employer's standards resulting in shorter adjustment time and workers being able to easily adapt to the demands of the job therefore resulting in increased productivity and shorter downtime. Apprentices can also take on the smaller tasks for them to learn whilst senior workers can focus more on the core tasks of an organization.
An apprenticeship also positively impacts an organization’s bottom line. 79% of employers who offered their perspective to Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship agree that apprenticeship has increased their bottom line. (Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, n.d.)
An apprenticeship can also increase profitability as it can minimize liability costs with a custom-trained workforce. An employer who has a registered apprenticeship program can also receive tax credits in some states.
Employers and organizations who invest in registered apprenticeship “realize an average return on investment of $1.47 for every $1 invested.” (National Apprenticeship, n.d.) This shows that investing in apprenticeship not only ensures the future of a workforce but also a strong Return on Investment (ROI) for the organization.
#3 Reducing Turnover & Retaining Top Talent
With workers being homegrown and internally trained through the apprenticeship program, employee loyalty is fostered and there is minimal turnover. There is also increased engagement from workers who went through the apprenticeship program. This leads to greater comfort for workers, and more enhanced problem solving for their post.
90% of apprentices continue their employment after completing their apprenticeship. (Apprenticeship USA, n.d.) Apprentices chose the industry that they have chosen to upskill in, which leads to better matching of employee's skills and character to employer needs, and this results in less chances of them leaving the organization they have apprenticed in.
Retention rates are even higher for military candidates participating in a registered apprenticeship. The Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) gives them a tax free stipend to pay for housing costs while under a Registered Apprenticeship. Military candidates under a registered apprenticeship program receive $15,000 more than other in traditional employment. It is an incredible opportunity for them, which helps bolster the retention rates. (National Apprenticeship, n.d.)
#4 Investing in the Community & Fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility
Registered Apprenticeships are an investment toward the future of a workforce and the community. By providing an affordable path for apprentices to earn their credentials, and possibly college credits, employers and organizations are able to build opportunities in communities. This, in turn, also bolsters the state and local economies by helping underserved populations and giving them access to education and employment opportunities.
As an effect, this helps a company’s reputation. Being one of the organizations that nurture talent and value career development, it not only highlights an organization’s contributions to the community but also becomes recognized in the industry as one who takes a proactive approach in talent development.
Investing in people and talent development also highlights an organization’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In the current day, wherein companies are under a microscope for their social impact, it gives an organization a positive reputation, which in turn can also contribute to promoting their business. (CMS Vocational Training, 2023)
#5 Promoting Inclusivity & Diversity
Employers who participate in an apprenticeship program also find that they are able to foster a more diverse and inclusive culture in their organization.
Aside from showing an organization’s commitment to CSR, considering underserved populations and people with disabilities helps widen the pool of talent for an employer. An inclusive apprenticeship program helps employers access all of the nation’s talent. “When all workers, including women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities, have the opportunity to become apprentices, we tap into our nation's full potential and open new career pathways for American workers.” (Apprenticeship USA, n.d.)
Inclusive apprenticeships help employers attain their DEIA goals. The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeshop was launched in 2020 to help employers design apprenticeship programs that promote inclusivity in industries such as clean energy, IT, data science, healthcare, and financial services.
Employers who strive for an inclusive workplace also have been found to earn 28% higher revenue. An inclusive workplace also promotes productivity and innovation within the organization. (Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, n.d.)
There are a host of benefits for an employer who has a registered apprenticeship program. Here are some resources to get started.
- To read more about Registered Apprenticeship programs for employers, you can click here.
- For organizations and employers interested in creating or joining an existing apprenticeship program, you can view the Office of Apprenticeship’s Partner Finder. They can help design, register, find partners, and direct you to resources for your Registered Apprenticeship program.
- Employers and organizations can also get connected with an apprenticeship expert through the Office Apprenticeship through here.
- If you are interested in getting started with creating a registered apprenticeship program, you can view the Create a New Program page of the Office of Apprenticeship.
- If you would like to join an existing apprenticeship program and work with an intermediary organization, you can click here.
- Lastly, if you would like to learn more about building or participating in an inclusive apprenticeship program, you can view the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship site.
Accenture. (n.d.). Apprenticeship Program Resource Guide: Building the Future of Talent. Accenture.pagetiger.com. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from https://accenture.pagetiger.com/accentureapprentice
Apprenticeship USA. (n.d.). A Proven Solution For Employers. Retrieved October 15, 2023, from https://www.apprenticeship.gov/sites/default/files/dol-industry-factsheet-employer-v10.pdf
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Luke, H. (2023, June 9). Ten Compelling Reasons to Integrate Apprenticeships into Your Business Strategy. CMS Vocational Training Ltd | CMI Management | AAT Accountancy | Personal Training Courses | Apprenticeships. https://cmsvoc.co.uk/blog/apprenticeships-5-employer-benefits-of-apprenticeships/
National Apprenticeship. (n.d.-a). Benefits of Creating a Program. National Apprenticeship. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from https://nationalapprenticeship.org/business-benefits
National Apprenticeship. (n.d.-b). Return on Investment (ROI). National Apprenticeship. https://nationalapprenticeship.org/roi
New America. (2019, February 27). Building Strong and Inclusive Economies through Apprenticeship. New America. https://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/reports/state-policy-agenda-2019/
Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship. (n.d.). Perspectives on Apprenticeship - What Employers Should Know About Inclusive Apprenticeships. Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from https://inclusiveapprenticeship.org/resources/perspectives-on-apprenticeship/
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