With a diminishing pool of skilled workers in the industrial labor market, companies return to apprenticeship programs to grow their own workforce. In recent history, apprenticeships have been a widely overlooked method that places valuable and loyal workers on shop floors. Companies are starting to realize the potential apprenticeship programs can have.
There are a few reasons why many manufacturers are having a difficult time finding skilled workers with enough experience to begin working directly in manufacturing facilities. Many blame an apparent skills gap in the industrial sector caused by retiring baby boomers and low interest levels among high school graduates to pursue a career in a trade. An established apprentice program that leads new workers from basic skills to veteran practices can keep manufacturers competitive in the labor market by investing in their future workforce.
Apprenticeships are an investment from the company to train a new apprentice to be a highly skilled journeyman and mold them into the company’s culture. These programs are successful because they give the trainee a way to enter the workforce while learning to perform the exact work required by the company’s standards. Trainees can also see clear career paths through the company as they progress through the apprenticeship. The training investment comes back to the company in the form of future employee loyalty.
Companies have reported recent success in workforce competency after implementing apprenticeship programs within their hiring culture. With the help of a third party company to supply the training material, organizations are able to efficiently educate new apprentices to mold them into knowledgeable technicians. Additionally, custom training solutions ensure that industry standards are met as well as company standards are implemented into the training curriculum. Not only have companies seen success with their employees, they have also seen success from these programs in the overall organization. Employees are adequately trained and companies see reduced turnovers, as well as increased productivity and safety records. Apprenticeship programs are, once again, proving to benefit everyone involved.
Often the industrial labor shortage is attributed to perceptions toward the manufacturing industry and expectations toward achieving a 4-year bachelors degree. However, today’s manufacturing environment is highly specialized requiring specific training on computer systems and advanced fluid technology.
As noted on Advancedtech.com:
“Today’s manufacturing jobs are “cool” and appealing. Workers are now required to be experts and operate the most sophisticated equipment in the world. They can cut steel with lasers, water jets and plasma cutters and can program robots to paint, package and palletize products. Computer programming and other high-tech skills are needed, which dovetails precisely with what younger people love these days; these jobs can be more fun than many service-sector jobs.”
Apprenticeship programs combine on-the-job training and classroom instruction to prepare new workers for future careers. Not only does the apprentice receive highly specialized training, trainees are also compensated for their time on-the-job. Often apprentices experience regular wage increases as they advance through the programs and continue to perform duties adequately on-the-job making this route an efficient and viable method to entering the workforce.