- Manpower Group, a temporary staffing company, will offer a GED program to more than 30,000 of its associates. The General Education Diploma, or GED, is equivalent to a high school diploma and will help the temporary workers add to their skill sets and increase their value in the marketplace, Manpower said. At no cost, workers will have access to online courses preparing them for the final exam, an unlimited amount of practice tests and coaching until they graduate, according to a press release.
- The company said a lack of a high school diploma can be a barrier to career success, and it noted that more than 70% of jobs require a high school degree at minimum, citing 2016 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The GED prep is an extension of the company's MyPath career development program, which provides Manpower employees with earn-as-they-learn opportunities, including on-the-job training and chances to earn certifications, the release said. The GED program is a collaboration with Pearson, a learning and assessment company.
Manpower joins a host of other companies that have offered GED and high school equivalency programming in recent years to help boost employee knowledge, skill and employability. Many offer the training freely to workers so they can advance their knowledge and skills without sacrificing their paychecks.
With unprecedented access to online learning platforms, organizations are also finding it easier to upskill workers who want to put in the time. The programs are good for employers as well as workers; Taco Bell recently examined the effects of their training initiatives on churn and saw a 34% boost in retention over six months for those employees enrolled in training versus those who were not. Recent data agree that career development is key component to employee engagement and retention.
Taco Bell's career development offered a high school equivalency path, while also giving employees the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees. While GED programs offer workers a solid foundation for learning, L&D initiatives that build workers' more vocational or secondary skills — like emotional intelligence training or ESL education — can serve business needs and continue to keep workers engaged.