Why is an apprenticeship a valuable strategy for the workforce system?

Recognized apprenticeship is an industry-driven model that combines on-the-job learning with job-related instruction. As an "earn and learn" model, apprentices are employed and earn wages from the first day on the job. Apprenticeship is a flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business. There are currently more than 1,000 occupations - including careers in health care, information technology, transportation, and energy - in which apprenticeship is used to meet business needs for qualified workers. Using apprenticeship as a workforce strategy will also contribute to higher performance outcomes in employment, retention, earnings, and credential attainment.

What is recognized apprenticeship?

Recognized apprenticeship is a proven approach for preparing workers for jobs while meeting the needs of business for a highly skilled workforce. It is an union and City-driven, "earn and learn" model that combines on-the-job training, provided by the department that hires the apprentice, with job-related instruction in curricula tied to the attainment of national skills standards. The model also involves progressive increases in an apprentice's skills and wages. ApprenticeshipSF uses this flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any department. The ApprenticeshipSF model is leading the way in preparing San Francisco workers to compete in today's economy. ApprenticeshipSF programs keep pace with advancing technologies and innovations in training and human resource development through the complete involvement of employers in the educational process. While it is used in traditional industries such as construction and manufacturing, apprenticeship programs are also instrumental for training and development in growing industries, such as health care, information technology, transportation and logistics, and energy.

How does Apprenticeship fit into career pathways?

Apprenticeship programs are a key asset for state and local workforce systems' career pathway strategies. Apprenticeship can be a partner in the K-12 educational system and an integral part of career and technical programs in high schools. School or community-sponsored pre-apprenticeship programs can be valuable training approaches and serve as the start of a career pathway, which leads to recognized apprenticeship opportunities for youth or low-skilled adult workers.

ApprenticeshipSF programs pave the way for career-building and life-long learning through the attainment of stackable credentials. The foundation of the ApprenticeshipSF model is the continual building of skills and the ability for workers to obtain higher levels of employment in an occupation or industry. As a result, use of the ApprenticeshipSF model can provide communities with a competitive advantage by establishing a continual pipeline of qualified workers for the City & County of San Francisco.

What are the basic components of a recognized ApprenticeshipSF program?

There are five components to typical ApprenticeshipSF programs. These include:

  • Union Involvement
    Unions are the foundation of every apprenticeship program. They play an active role in building the program and remain involved every step of the way. Departments and Unions frequently work together through apprenticeship councils, industry associations, or other partnerships to share the administrative tasks involved in maintaining apprenticeship programs.
  • Structured On-the-Job Training
    Apprenticeships always include an on-the-job training (OJT) component. Apprentices receive hands-on training from an experienced mentor at the job site. OJT focuses on the skills and knowledge an apprentice must learn during the program to be fully proficient on the job. This training is based on national industry standards, customized to the needs of the particular department.
  • Related Instruction
    One of the unique aspects of apprenticeships is that they combine on-the-job learning with related instruction on the technical and academic competencies that apply to the job. Education partners collaborate with business to develop the curriculum, which often incorporates established national-level skill standards. The related instruction may be provided by community colleges, technical schools, or apprenticeship training schools - or by the business itself. It can be delivered at a school, online, or at the training center.
  • Rewards for Skill Gains
    Apprentices receive wages when they begin work, and receive pay increases as they meet benchmarks for skill attainment. This helps reward and motivate apprentices as they advance through their training.
  • State and Nationally recognized Credential
    Every graduate of a recognized apprenticeship program receives a state and nationally-recognized credential. This is a portable credential that signifies to employers that apprentices are fully qualified for the job.

How does a recognized apprenticeship program benefit City departments?

First and foremost, apprenticeship programs help departments develop highly-skilled employees. Apprenticeship programs also reduce turnover rates, increase productivity and lower the cost of recruitment.

Additional benefits include:

  • Customized training that meets industry standards, tailored to the specific needs of departments, resulting in highly-skilled employees.
  • Increased knowledge transfer through on-the-job learning from an experienced mentor, combined with education courses to support work-based learning.
  • Enhanced employee retention: 91% of apprentices that complete an apprenticeship are still employed nine months later.
  • A safer workplace that may reduce worker compensation costs, due to the program’s emphasis on safety training.
  • A stable and reliable pipeline of qualified workers.
  • A systematic approach to training that ensures employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for the occupation.

What is the role of government in recognized apprenticeships?

The ApprenticeshipSF project in the Department of Human Resources - Workforce Development division works with the California State Apprenticeship Agency (DAS) to administer the program in the City. ApprenticeshipSF and DAS are responsible for:

  • Registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards
  • Protecting the safety and welfare of apprentices
  • Issuing nationally-recognized and portable credentials to apprentices
  • Promoting the development of new programs through marketing and technical assistance
  • Assuring that all programs provide high quality training
  • Assuring that all programs produce skilled, competent workers

What is the meaning of this word? (Terms & Definitions)

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