You’ve probably heard more than enough about the “Skilled Trades Gap” and how we need to build up STEM education programs. That’s all well and good for closing the gap in the future… But what can we do to fix the problem right now?
Have you thought about hiring apprentices? The idea behind an apprentice is to have an employee who is working for you, but also getting fully trained in their field, both on the job and in the classroom. For example, DASI Solutions has an Industrial Design Technician Apprenticeship program that lasts two years and requires 4,000 hours worked, and over 300 hours of classroom training.
But why hire an apprentice?
1. Recruit and develop the best talent
One of the biggest selling factors for jobs is when the employer encourages career growth opportunities. What better way to attract top talent than to let them know that they will be able to go through significant career training? Not only will it help you in recruiting, but you will develop the most productive workers by developing their talent early. Get ahead of the game; don’t let the talent gap undermine your profitability.
2. Increase employee retention (reducing turnover costs)
Employees appreciate when a company invests in their future. By putting forth the effort to show that you care about their career and putting them through an apprenticeship program, employees will be happier and more committed to you as an employer. Sure, their skills will certainly be enticing to other companies, but it has been found that apprentices are often loyal to the companies who invest in them.
3. Government funding is available
Maybe the best reason of all! The government is offering a large number of training grants to help bridge the talent gap in a wide array of industries. Invest in your employees at a lower cost to you. It’s a win-win. One such grant was given to Focus: HOPE, based in Detroit, worth $3 million to train workers in information technology and advanced manufacturing.
Don’t confuse the term apprentice with the term intern. While an apprentice can be a fresh-faced, new-to-the-workforce college grad (or student), they are certainly not the only candidates available. Whether you want a young, inexperienced worker to mold, you have incumbent workers who need to freshen up their skills or you are looking to work with getting local veterans back into the workforce, apprenticeship just might be the way to go. Just don’t let them leave you once the apprenticeship is done – you don’t want to lose those productive workers!