- California has entered into its first-ever private-sector partnership to create technology apprenticeships, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations, California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and other stakeholders. The state will collaborate with IBM to offer training in software engineering, mainframe system administration and application development using the tech company's apprenticeship model.
- The California Department of Technology and IBM will upskill the state's labor force while building a new crop of tech workers with mainframe skills, according to the announcement. The California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) said it will use IBM's "gold standard" apprenticeship model to track the training and address the state's skills gap by making new learning opportunities available.
- DAS said that interested state employees may start applying for the apprenticeships this winter and begin coursework in early 2020. Program participants will be selected through an application screening process, oral interviews and an aptitude test.
As companies continue to grapple with the skills gap and a tight talent market, many have turned to apprenticeships to create a pipeline of workers who have the training they need.
Alongside IBM, Accenture is one the many companies using apprenticeships to build alternative career paths for trainees. Accenture reportedly converts most of its college-sourced apprenticeships into full-time positions, creating a new talent pipeline in the process.
Taking a modern approach toward apprenticeships is a working formula for many businesses, according to a report from the Institute for WorkPlace Skills & Innovation America (IWSI). By combining classroom training with on-the-job instruction, employers are working to close the skills gap. IWSI found that companies such as CVS Health, Mailchimp and Adobe are offering apprenticeships in cybersecurity, healthcare, engineering and other highly in-demand professions.
In a tight labor market, apprenticeships are becoming an important means of expanding talent pipelines. Employers are looking at hiring individuals from underrepresented groups to fill openings, and apprenticeships may provide the training needed to bring some of these groups on board. For example, some companies are prioritizing hiring and training for those recently incarcerated. In fact, Maine operates an apprenticeship program that prepares prisoners for careers in the culinary arts and food service industry while they're serving time.