In the tech industry, the investment that drives innovation is talent. Today, more and more tech companies are discovering a proven strategy for building a highly skilled workforce to grow and to thrive: apprenticeship programs.
Combining classroom instruction with on the job training, apprenticeship programs can help your company bring new and more diverse talent into the workplace. The IT apprenticeship program Apprenti has found that 84% of their tech apprentice applicants come from untapped talent pools—including people with disabilities, veterans, women, and minorities.
#ApprenticeshipWorks for Tech
The tech industry is primed for apprenticeship success given the current scarcity of computer engineers. According to Code.org, there are currently 528,174 open computing jobs nationwide, but last year only 49,291 computer science students graduated into the workforce. These jobs are in every industry and every state, and they’re projected to grow at twice the rate of other jobs. By focusing on talent defined by competency rather than a degree, apprenticeship programs offer an ideal solution for quickly training the skilled employees needed to fill these roles.
“Apprenticeships are an employer driven, new talent pipeline. Talent made your way, with longer retention and economic incentives. That’s a win for employers and employees.” — Jennifer Carlson, Apprenti
6 Reasons to Engage in an Apprenticeship Program
1. Access to wide pools of talent.
Registered apprenticeships—meaning those that meet certain national standards—attract a wider range of apprentice candidates seeking rewarding, long-term careers.
2. High retention rates.
While tech apprenticeship programs are new, we know that apprentices in other industries who get hired full-time tend to stay with the company that trained them longer than average tenure. For example at Newport News Shipbuilding, 80 percent of participants are still employed by the company 15 years after completing their apprenticeship.
3. Help with compliance and workplace inclusion goals.
Apprenticeship programs offer a pathway to fostering a diverse workforce inclusive of people with disabilities, veterans, women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups. In particular, they can be a valuable tool for companies subject to regulations such as Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act for recruitment.
Registered apprentice salaries are 60% of market rate, offsetting your investment in on-the-job training. In some states/cities, there are also subsidies for the classroom training needed to get an apprentice job related certifications. And long term, Apprenti has documented that 83% of apprentices are retained after apprenticeship.
5. Flexibility and customization.
The registered apprenticeship model is rooted in flexibility. You can tailor the training needed to meet your company’s specific workforce needs.
6. Help is available to run your apprenticeship.
By working with registered apprenticeship partners of the federal and state Departments of Labor, or industry-focused workforce development organizations and intermediaries like Apprenti, you benefit from hands-on recruitment and operational assistance. Our job is to make the process of adoption as simple as possible.
“By having people with disabilities in the fabric of our company, we’re building in a diverse workforce that then represents the 1 billion people with disabilities out there. We’re going to be building better products, we’re going to be building better services, websites. Anything that we do will work across the spectrum of being human.” — Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft
Apprenticeships & Disability Inclusion
When apprenticeship programs are inclusive of people with disabilities, the value of the on-the-job training model is magnified. That’s because disability is an important dimension of workforce diversity—and people with disabilities are an untapped talent pool.
As a Harvard Business Review study found, there is a strong link between diversity and innovation. When companies recruit, hire, and retain individuals with disabilities (including veterans), they benefit from a wider pool of talent, skills, and creative business solutions.
According to a study by DePaul University, people with disabilities tend to stay on the job longer, are absent less, and have job performance ratings nearly identical to their peers without disabilities.
Employees with disabilities can help businesses gain a better understanding of how to meet the needs of this important customer base—currently the 3rd largest market segment in the U.S.
Employers report that over half of accommodations cost nothing, and the average cost when they do is just $300.
Your Key to Better, More Usable Products
Technology companies that hire people with disabilities stand to gain unique experience and skill sets, particularly related to product accessibility and usability. Just ask the tech trailblazers—such as Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, SAP and others—that have launched programs to actively recruit and train job candidates with disabilities in order to capitalize on their skills, talents, and perspectives.
“Our business leaders recognized not only is [hiring people with disabilities] good for people, it’s good for society, it’s great for our workforce and our culture, and it’s good for our business, too. These folks are adding and incrementally driving up productivity of the team. It’s become really fundamental to our business strategy and talent strategy.” — Pat Romzek, Executive Consultant, Cisco
Get Started Today
To get started on setting up a registered apprenticeship program, contact PEAT today.