“Registered Apprenticeship is a solid pathway to skilled jobs that combines on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship is an ‘earn and learn’ model that provides workers with income while they learn on the job. Apprenticeship programs are increasingly found not only in the Skilled Trades, but also in Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, Information Technology and a host of additional fields with career opportunities that provide wages that allow people to be self-sufficient. Quality pre-apprenticeship programs prepare workers to enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs.
All across America, community leaders are coming together to expand apprenticeship training. In fact, the President has set a goal of doubling the number of apprentices. A significant element of this focus on expanding apprenticeship is to increase the diversity of apprentices. Currently, women comprise only 6 percent of apprentices, although they make up 47 percent of the U.S. labor force. Pre-apprenticeship programs can increase opportunities for better-paying jobs for women.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) and other workforce intermediaries are often the providers of pre-apprenticeship services…. While the focus is on expanding apprenticeship opportunities for women – disadvantaged, low-wage jobs, or those interested in a career change – these strategies can also be applied to other groups seeking quality, family-sustaining jobs” (p.1).
“This guide focuses on pre-apprenticeship strategies for disadvantaged women entering nontraditional occupations. The term “non-traditional” refers to occupations in which women comprise less than 25 percent of the total workers, such as Construction, Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology” (p.3).
(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)
Major Findings & Recommendations
The resource identifies the following best practices for retaining participants and sustaining programs. Retaining participants: • “Valuable case management activities during the pre-apprenticeship program include goal setting and development of specific career plans” (p.17). • “Incorporate opportunities for peer support among participants into [the] program” (p.17). Sustaining the program: • “Demonstrate [an] ongoing commitment to apprenticeship and women in non-traditional occupations” (p.19). • “Conduct a planning session with [the] board at least annually” (p.19). • “Market [the] program to attract additional funders, partners and apprenticeship sponsors” (p.19). Recommendations from the resource include: “CBOs and other pre-apprenticeship providers are encouraged to form broad networks in developing pre-apprenticeship programs. This will ensure [the] participants have the services and supports needed for success.[When building the program], key partnerships might include: individual businesses and industry groups, state and federal apprenticeship offices, education organizations (both post-secondary and K-12), economic development organizations, public workforce systems, labor unions and joint apprenticeship training committees and other community- and faith-based organizations in [the] region. Each of these partners has the potential to contribute to and enrich [the] program. Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors may include individual employers, business consortia, joint labor-management partnerships, community colleges and even CBOs. Keep in mind that sponsors typically are [the] customers as well as [the] partners and champions. The best way to satisfy [the] sponsors is by delivering a pool of pre-screened, qualified, job-ready candidates for their apprenticeship training programs. In some cases, and particularly for new industries, CBOs can play a critical role in bringing employers and other partners together to develop new apprenticeship programs” (p.7). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)