Blog Post: Fans of IBM zSystems Hub

Event: IBM Z ® Apprenticeships for the Military Community

Event: IBM Z ® Apprenticeships for the Military Community

This is an excerpt of blog published on the Fans of IBM zSystems Hub to promote a Franklin event that IBM is sponsoring for the Military Community on June 29, 2022, at 12:30 EST. Register for the event here. 

By: Tim Fry, Success Coach and Military Community Outreach Manager, Franklin Apprenticeships

“As a 17-year combat veteran of the United States Airforce, I speak from firsthand experience when I say that the transition from the military to civilian life is one of the toughest challenges that men and women who serve our country will ever face.

The career paths in the military don’t always neatly translate to civilian life and the idea of starting over and learning a new field or pursuing a college degree can be daunting. For military dependents and spouses, it’s equally challenging. Unfortunately, many employers don’t want to hire someone who is going to be relocated every few years or who has the pressure of family commitments due to military deployments.

Over the past 18-months of being involved in the IBM Z® US Apprenticeship Accelerator program as part of the delivery team at Franklin Apprenticeships, I’ve had the opportunity to coach and support dozens of members of the military community – from veterans, transitioning service members and reservists to military spouses and dependents. In fact, one in five of the students that have been hired into IBM Z Apprenticeships are veterans. They have used the IBM Z Apprenticeship program to translate their military-learned skills and excel in a civilian career, while earning certifications.”

Read more on the Fans of IBM zSystems Hub. 

Register for the event here.

Funding from the State of Pennsylvania

Franklin Awarded $520K To Expand Tech Apprenticeships in PA

Franklin Awarded $520K To Expand Tech Apprenticeships in PA

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently announced awards totaling more than $11 million for 26 apprenticeship programs, including Franklin Apprenticeships which will receive $520,000 to deliver technology pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to employers and residents of the state.

The grants are part of Governor Wolf’s PA Statewide Movement for Accountability, Readiness and Training (PAsmart) framework, which is “designed to better align education, workforce and economic development initiatives and funding,” according to the Governor’s website.

“We applaud the State of Pennsylvania for making this significant, strategic investment in building its tech workforce by helping people with no formal experience in technology transition to well-paid, high-demand roles in the state,” Kim Nichols, CEO and Founder of Franklin Apprenticeships explains. “Our team at Franklin is thrilled to build on the work we are already doing in the state, and expand access to our apprenticeship programs for employers and tech career seekers.”

Franklin’s Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Programs currently include: IBM Z, Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Cybersecurity and Helpdesk. There is an accelerating demand from employers for Franklin’s job ready, pre-apprentice graduates as many companies are increasingly leveraging apprenticeships as a tool for building their own pipeline of tech talent given the high-demand for people with these skills.

“Throughout history, apprenticeships have been a vital and necessary part of career education in certain fields,” Gov. Wolf said in the press announcement. “By expanding these important programs to more occupations and industries, we are offering Pennsylvania workers opportunities to train for family-sustaining jobs while helping businesses develop a workforce that will strengthen our economy and our communities.”

Grant Details: Franklin Apprenticeships | $520,000

Tech Talent for PA

Franklin Apprenticeships will establish and enroll participants into non-traditional, competency-based registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships using a non-traditional service delivery process. The proposed Franklin statewide program will prioritize 240 new pre-apprenticeships and 40 apprenticeships expanding into non-traditional occupations parallel to the growing workforce-need within the IT sector. The program has a special focus on prioritizing the recruitment of diverse populations and historically underserved participants (including minorities, low-income populations and women).

Franklin Apprenticeships will establish and enroll participants into non-traditional, competency-based registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships using a non-traditional service delivery process. 

Read more at the Governor of Pennsylvania’s Press Room.

Interested in Getting Involved?

  • Career Seekers in Pennsylvania: Explore Franklin’s Pre-Apprenticeship Programs which currently include: IBM Z, Software Engineering, Network Engineering, Cybersecurity and Helpdesk.
  • Employers in Pennsylvania: Ready to start a tech apprenticeship program to build your talent pipeline? Franklin will make it easy to get started. Get in touch at info@franklinapprenticeships.com.

Modernizing the mainframe for the digital era

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in CIO Magazine

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in CIO Magazine

This article explores the long-term future of IBM Z Mainframe and takes a detailed look at how M&T Bank is using the platform. It also mentions the IBM Z Apprenticeship Program, which is delivered by Franklin Apprenticeships.

“Farther north, M&T Bank launched in November 2020 its Z Development Program (ZDP) Mainframe Apprenticeship, a training and internship program that recruits participants from non-traditional backgrounds and underserved communities, particularly Black and Latinx people, as well as women and veterans in the Buffalo area. The goal is to develop entry-level application developers and systems administrators with the skills to work with IBM Z systems. The program is a collaborative effort that draws on the support of IBM, Franklin Apprenticeships, and the Urban Institute.”

Read more online at CIO.com

Press Release

Franklin adds senior hires to leadership team

Franklin adds senior hires to leadership team

Franklin Apprenticeships expands corporate learning and development expertise with Senior Operations and Marketing hires

“Franklin Apprenticeships, the professional apprenticeship experts, today announced two senior hires that expand the company’s learning and development expertise to support further growth. Franklin has appointed Helen Smyth as Vice President of Operations and Mikki Draggoo as Vice President of Marketing.”

Read here: EINPresswire.com

 

Sharing Insight from the U.S. and U.K.

Exploring Age Diversity In Apprenticeships

Exploring Age Diversity In Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships provide an excellent opportunity for individuals of all ages to explore new careers through an alternative path. Individuals who seek a new career path may lack the time and resources to pursue a college degree as a full-time or even part-time student due to familial and financial responsibilities. Apprenticeship programs that offer an “earn while you learn” approach helps apprentices avoid taking on debt but still gain the necessary skills to pursue their dream career.

Franklin Apprenticeships and the City & Guilds Group recently hosted a roundtable with both apprentices and employers from the U. S. and U.K. who are committed to breaking generational barriers.

Apprentices offered excellent insight from their experiences with generational differences in their apprenticeship programs, while employers explained the benefits of an age-diverse apprenticeship program.

Sharing Insight from the U.S. and U.K.

Building Gender Diversity through Apprenticeships

Building Gender Diversity through Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity to build gender diversity in a company’s early career pipeline. By providing a route to professional careers that does not rely on a degree, earn-and-learn apprenticeship programs are more accessible to people from all walks of life – and can be a powerful way for a company to improve gender diversity.

Franklin Apprenticeships and the City & Guilds Group recently hosted a round table with top apprenticeship employers in the U.S. and U.K. exploring how they have built gender diversity through their apprenticeship programs.

The participants included representatives from Siemens, T-Mobile, NatWest and The Urban Institute. They offered excellent insight into how to not only recruit apprentices to improve gender diversity within a team, but how to make sure they grow and develop their careers within your company.

Check out our highlight reel from the event and our infographic of five ideas we learned to attract and retain gender diverse apprentices. For a full event run-down, read more on City & Guilds’ website.

Calling all Companies Supporting the Work-From-Home Resurgence

Calling all Companies Supporting the Work-From-Home Resurgence

What is your hiring strategy?

Carolina Milanes, principal analyst at Creative Strategies and founder of the Heart of Tech wrote a great commentary this week for Fast Company in response to the resurgence in remote work. Working from Home is great for diversity. Let’s keep it going sheds light on the work from home environment.  According to Milanes, “Remote work can open the door to talent pools that are more diverse in three key areas: gender, accessibility, and race.”

We would like to take that sage advice a step further by adding the concept of apprenticeship into the mix. Apprenticeships are slowly re-emerging to fill the gap of university education, especially in IT—including top remote positions such as Help Desk and Network Engineer.  These programs open opportunities for individuals to learn new skills, build amazing careers, and do work they truly care about. They also tap into a talent pool of diverse talent often discounted by traditional HR. Highly structured programs are supported with online learning, dedicated Success Coaches, and cloud-based e-portfolio systems built specifically to accelerate and monitor a remote learner’s ability to apply skills.  

The coronavirus has sent workers home, many of which will have no jobs to go back to.  What a great time to take advantage of an untapped talent pool ready and anxious to bring their skills to new heights.  

What is your hiring strategy?  Learn how apprenticeship can help leading companies create a compelling, diverse remote workforce strategy for 2020 and beyond. 

Contact Franklin Apprenticeships today and learn about our Digital IT Help Desk, Network Engineer, and AutoMOtive! Apprenticeship programs!

What Is All the Buzz About Onboarding Specialists?

What Is All the Buzz About Onboarding Specialists?

Company demand for this position has grown 50% 

Burning Glass reports that demand for Onboarding Specialists is on the rise. This comes as no surprise.  The war for new and emerging talent is a bloody battle leaving many workforce development professionals defeated. According to Harvard Business Review, almost 33% of new hires start searching for a new job within six months and 23% of new employees leave their job within the first year. That is a large portion of company troops to lose in a year. 

As the demand for top talent intensifies, companies understand the strategic need to pay closer attention to tactical skills such as Onboarding.  If the point of entry is not well executed, new hires will be left to flounder and, eventually, walk off into the sunset.

Employee turnover is expensive. Organizations pay direct exit costs when an employee leaves, but they also incur additional costs to recruit and train new hires. Onboarding helps new hires to feel like they are part of the team,  understand how things are done and how their role contributes to the overall success of your business resulting in: 

  • Reduced employee turnover 
  • Increased productivity
  • Defined roles  

If you have solid Onboarding practices, we commend you.  But, we have to ask: How long is your Onboarding process? For most companies, it is brief and often confused with “orientation.”    As HBR expert Ron Carruci points out, the first year is a new hire’s most vulnerable period.  The most successful companies adhere to a full-year program, and “focus on three key dimensions: the organizational, the technical, and the social. By using this integrated approach, they enable their employees to stay, and to thrive.”

Carruci further explains how organizational onboarding helps to teach them how things work and helps them assimilate.  Technical onboarding defines what good looks like and sets up early wins. And, finally, social onboarding builds a sense of community.

Franklin Apprenticeships follow this same extensive protocol when executing our apprenticeship programs.  Beginning with recruitment and progressing to the deployment of dedicated Success Coaches and eportfolio tools, our programs streamline structured onboarding processes for sustainable success.  That is one of the many reasons that 90% of apprentices stay on in their place of work after completing an apprenticeship.  

Curious about how to weave apprenticeship into your employee retention process?  Need help creating an onboarding process into your organization through apprenticeship?  

At Franklin Apprenticeships, we are here to help employers build their workforce, so companies can focus on building their business. We have the tools, technology, and network necessary to build, execute, and manage modern apprenticeship programs that fit unique organizational requirements.  

Contact Franklin Apprenticeships today and learn about our Digital IT Help Desk, Network Engineer, and AutoMOtive! Apprenticeship programs!

Help Desk and Network Security Talent Needs: Re-thinking Credentials or Potential When Hiring During Disruptive Times

Help Desk and Network Security Talent Needs: Re-thinking Credentials or Potential When Hiring During Disruptive Times

The way we work and interact with each other is about to change forever. Last spring, Learning House and Future Workplace surveyed 600 human resource leaders about the nationwide skills gap crisis, the state of hiring processes, and the difficulties of identifying qualified candidates. Today, as job openings in critical IT support roles continue to rise during the new work-from-home reality, leaders need to be more creative about how they source and onboard talent.

Approximately 47 percent of leaders surveyed state that colleges have not properly prepared students for the working world. The survey also revealed that 35 percent of employers felt it was the responsibility of colleges and universities to make potential employees “work-ready”.

As employers work to support the “new normal” with volumes of dispersed teams, and educators work furiously to adjust programs, this brings to light a critical dilemma for hiring managers. Which should take precedent when hiring a candidate – their hard skills/degree/technical certifications (credentials), or their soft skills/ability to train (potential)?

Difficulties of Hiring for Credentials/Hard Skills

Tech Executives walked into 2020 understanding the resource shortages caused by the skills gap.  But, they did not walk into 2020 comprehending the increased need for critical support resources caused by the recent pandemic.  Technology and IT jobs are the hardest to fill, followed by management jobs. These positions correspond to what employers believe are the in-demand college majors — computer information systems, finance, and economics.

If employers hire for skills based on a degree, there is a chance that the new hire is only partially equipped to perform the job.

Difficulties of Hiring for Potential/Soft Skills

The top three soft skills currently sought out by employers: teamwork (38%), the ability to adapt to change (37%), and leadership (37%).   Today’s new normal sheds even more light on the importance of these 3 skills.

Challenges surmounting these gaps have been budget shortfalls and lack of available talent to train employees. This becomes even more problematic for companies unaccustomed to supporting fully dispersed teams.

As a result, employers are becoming more open to innovative ways to address their skills gap.

Alternative Methods to Address Hiring for Both Credentials and Potential 

Discovering creative ways to address the IT support skills gap during this disruptive time is crucial. Employers have to seriously consider hiring candidates without traditional four-year degrees – which may allow job seekers who need to redefine their career paths to search for alternative credentialing.

Registered apprenticeships offer an alternate model. While not always thought of in the U.S. as a natural option, registered apprenticeship programs can offer employers numerous benefits, such as structured training that includes dedicated program Success Coaches for each apprentice, streamlined recruitment practices, increased loyalty and retention, and enhanced performance.

At Franklin Apprenticeships, we are here to help employers build their workforce, so companies can focus on sustaining their business. We have the tools, technology, and network necessary to build, execute, and manage modern apprenticeship programs that fit unique organizational requirements.

Employers will need to continue thinking outside the box today to train and retain the workforce necessary to support the growing demand during this disruptive time.  Fortunately, employers now have more options to think outside the box and influence the direction of this ongoing conversation.

Are you interested in exploring apprenticeships as a talent acquisition strategy for your organization? Contact Franklin Apprenticeships to learn about the power of high quality, registered Help Desk and Network Engineer apprenticeship programs.

Your Next Great Hire Could Be Right Under Your Nose

Your Next Great Hire Could Be Right Under Your Nose

Are you overlooking the skilled talent in your workforce?

If the answer is yes, you are not alone.  Only 28% of talent acquisition leaders today consider internal candidates when looking to fill vacancies.

Laura Randell, CEO of global recruitment strategy and HR technology consulting company PeopleMatters, explains, “In highly evolved organizations where succession planning and performance reviews happen regularly, and transparency of hiring practices is the norm, looking to internal candidates first is natural.”  Yet, the vast majority of small to midsize companies do not have a process for succession planning.  There is no way to know who might be the best person in the organization for the role, so companies look externally as a first step.  “The assumption is that they don’t exist, or it’s easier to just look outside,” Randell continues.

Overlooking talent within your own organization is risky.  Especially in today’s competitive environment.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, voluntary turnover levels are growing — a direct sign that employee loyalty is on the decline.

Yet, a Talent Trends study from LinkedIn shows that 25% of employees actually prefer to hang in there in hopes of a promotion.  And the report also shows that 24% of employees will consider a move if overlooked for a promotion.  In fact, career advancement is the most common reason employees jump ship.  Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that 95% of hiring is to fill existing positions — pointing to poor retention as the root cause.

Hiring is difficult and costly. Retention is on the decline.  Why, then, aren’t hiring managers seeing beyond the end of their noses when sniffing out talent?

Research has pointed to three major causes:

  • Perceived Internal Skills Gap: Some hiring managers assume existing employees lack the exact skill match they’re hoping to find.  Or they are looking for newer skills that aren’t yet in evidence with their existing talent pool.

Skill needs evolve and emerge — especially in tech-focused roles.  It is difficult for workers to perform their day to day duties, much less exercise and stay current on advancing skills.

  • Poor Planning: Some hiring managers are planning for attrition rather than training for retention.  Rather than investing in the existing workforce, companies fill the pipeline with poached talent.  With the assumption that new talent will bring the skills they crave.

Hiring organizations tend to overestimate the “portability” of skills and experience.  And that includes how effectively skills can be applied in new organizations.  New hires often underperform, as past success is often due to the companies for which they worked.  Internal hires bring organizational knowledge that helps them get up to speed in new roles faster.  Internal hiring also builds a healthy referral pipeline from happy employees, since people naturally tend to refer others when their own career has grown in the company.

  • Panic Over Flight Risk: Some hiring managers fear that workers will leave and take their valuable training with them.  Or, some may fear that promoting from within will leave a difficult to fill gap in their own department.

Ask yourself the common sense question.  How much of their future will an employee invest with a company when the company makes them feel like a commodity not worth the investment?

What message are you sending to your workforce?  The wrong message comes at a high cost.  According to the Center for American Progress, it costs about 20% of an employee’s salary to replace that individual.  And, in the end, the cycle of replacing employees only winds up costing more than upskilling.

Apprenticeship Programs

Apprenticeship programs are a proven way to uncover untapped talent in your workforce and reduce the financial burden and risks of external hiring.  Consider not only what an internal candidate has done, but what he or she is capable of doing — with programs that identify crossover skills and structure training of new, advanced skills.

What about that entry-level gap left by a promoted worker?  Why not backfill that role with an entry-level apprentice! Mentors, Success Coaches, training programs, and all the necessary paperwork will already be in place for both incumbent and new talent.

Viola! You now have a growing workforce of loyal employees. All right under your nose.

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between new hires and apprentices, check this out:  A Candid Candidate Comparison: Who Would You Choose for Your Company?

To learn more about starting an apprenticeship program in your organization, contact us, here.