Nicholas Wyman, Founder and CEO of IWSI Consulting, has recently published an article in Innovations – the official journal of world renowned research institute, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
For many Americans, the Obama administration’s recently publicized plan to invest billions of federal dollars in apprenticeship programs in the United States likely conjured up the image of Benjamin Franklin apprenticing as a printer, his first professional role.
Apprenticeships remain a fundamental, proven method of training individuals in what are likely high-skilled occupational areas, with hand-on learning processes that are directly supervised by skilled mentors. Today the effectiveness of these multiyear training commitments is measured by whether apprentices are hired by their employers upon completing their programs. If they are not, it’s likely that the apprenticeship program itself needs to be restructured.
In the United States, there are only 14 apprentices for every 1,000 workers, and 4 percent of U.S. employers end up hiring their own apprentices, according to the International Skills Standards Organization. By comparison, in my native Australia there are 40 apprentices for every 1,000 workers, and 27 percent of Aussie employers hire their apprentices. According to data from the Australian and U.S. governments, Australia will continue to outpace the U.S. in the level of apprenticeships through at least 2015.
Onsite work and mentoring are the core of the training model that today’s entry-level workers need in order to build and sustain lifelong careers. Strategically designed apprenticeship programs aggregate, monitor, and streamline the changing inputs and relationships required to promote workers and pave paths of sustainable employment.
To read the rest of the article about how apprenticeships build skills-based careers, download the PDF here.