At the most basic level, apprenticeships are earn and learn programs that allow individuals to combine their education with on-the-job work experience. Modernization of apprenticeship refers to wrapping your choice of methods and tools around it and training towards specific roles within occupations.
Why do we need to modernize apprenticeship?
Governments and agencies often define and validate apprenticeship programs by how they carry out training. This is a significant fallacy within our national apprenticeship system. The concept of apprenticeship benefits an organization by allowing it to still profit from its employees’ on-the-job production, while they are learning and upskilling. Employees benefit by earning a fair wage while learning and upskilling. If this concept holds true within one’s system of training, it is defined as an apprenticeship.
The overarching truth is… how we carry out training does not define apprenticeship and is not the same from one organization to the next. When we recognize the true definition of apprenticeship, that’s when we will understand the true number of apprenticeships and apprentices in our country. Modern apprenticeships are the future of our nation’s training systems but recognition of most will be suppressed to bolster traditional systems.
What does a modernized apprenticeship look like?
When governments and agencies think about apprenticeships in our Country, they ultimately associate the quality of a program with the amount of time it takes to transfer skills and wage progression throughout training. This traditional thinking leads us to believe:
- If training does not include thousands our hours on the job, it’s not a quality apprenticeship program.
- If training does not include hundreds of hours of related theory, it’s not a quality apprenticeship program.
- If employees are not increasing their wage while in training, it’s not a quality apprenticeship program.
The common fallacy of these principles is they are not timeless constants. Holding true to these principles is the biggest barrier for modernizing apprenticeships. A modernized apprenticeship is one that is aligned to how the organization operates. The quality of the program is measured by how closely the training system is aligned to the organization’s operational and production goals.
An organization must constantly improve its operations to remain competitive in the marketplace and its training must be finely tuned to its operational system. Holding onto principles that impede this alignment due to traditional beliefs rather than a commitment to quality training will not produce a quality apprenticeship that provides return-on-investment (ROI) for the organization or the apprentice.
There is a solution! NIMS has created a Smart Training Solutions framework to modernize your apprenticeship.NIMS industry-recognized apprenticeships recognize what companies are doing well in their training programs and measure it against standard quality metrics.
NIMS engages with employers by taking them on a journey to enhance their training programs. Each step within our Employer Engagement Process has a fork in the road for employers to end their journey with a positive ROI.