Blog Post

The $5.5 Trillion IT Skills Crisis

The $5.5 Trillion IT Skills Crisis

Strategies for Building Future-Ready Tech Talent

The global IT skills shortage is reaching a breaking point, with IDC predicting that over 90% of organizations worldwide will feel the impact by 2026. This crisis is expected to result in a staggering $5.5 trillion in losses due to product delays, impaired competitiveness, and lost business opportunities.

While artificial intelligence (AI) skills are currently in high demand, cybersecurity, IT Operations, cloud computing, data management, software development, and various other digital skills are also among the top needs identified by IT leaders.

Overcoming the IT Skills Crisis: A Holistic Approach

Addressing this significant skills gap requires a holistic approach that fosters a culture of continuous learning within organizations. As market dynamics evolve, so do the talent development training needs of our clients. Over the last 18 months, we’ve heard more of a need for skills-based training for new talent and existing employees.

Experiential Learning: Hands-On Skill Development

We apply our core methodology of hands-on, experiential learning perfected through apprenticeships to skill-based training programs too. Our interactive approach engages learners, provides practical, real-world experience while allowing them to apply their knowledge on the job. This is of significant benefit to employers, and savvy ones recognize the long-term cost savings and competitive advantage developing talent provides.

According to IDC’s survey, 70% of organizations are utilizing experiential learning methods in their training programs. Why? Because they recognize their effectiveness in developing practical skills and fostering a deeper understanding of complex concepts. We take that one step farther with hands-on, on-the-job learning that aligns skills to your unique work environment.

Aligning Learning with Business Goals and Career Growth

While cutting-edge training materials and methods are essential, fostering a culture of continuous learning requires a comprehensive approach that aligns learning objectives with business goals and individual career aspirations. Franklin Apprenticeships can help. Our training programs are designed to promote a bias for learning, integrate seamlessly into daily workflows and provide employees ample opportunities to upskill and reskill as business needs evolve.

Addressing Resistance to Training

One of the challenges organizations face in expanding employee skills is resistance to training. Employees often cite concerns such as courses being too long, limited learning options, and a lack of alignment between skills and career goals. One of the biggest challenges we hear regularly is that employees don’t always avail themselves of skills training the company provides. Or they start but don’t complete training. We overcome this inertia with live Success Coaches whose sole focus is holding learners accountable to complete their training program while working with employer managers to integrate these employees into operations while they’re learning.

Investing in Your Future Success

The IT skills crisis is a complex challenge that requires innovative solutions and a commitment to continuous learning and continuous talent development. By partnering with Franklin, you gain access to our cutting-edge training programs flexed to your needs, expert instructors, success coaches, and a proven track record of helping organizations build the tech talent they need to thrive in the digital age.

Don’t let the skills gap hold your organization back. Contact us today to learn how we can help you conquer the IT skills crisis and future-proof your tech talent pipeline.

Blog Post

Navigating the Skills Revolution

Navigating the Skills Revolution

Unlock Human Potential for a Future-Ready Workforce

The rise of generative AI has brought about a seismic shift in the job market, prompting organizations to reevaluate their hiring strategies. The most in-demand skills for the future are the most in-demand skills for now. The call for a “skills revolution” has become a rallying cry, but is this approach truly disruptive, or simply a rebranding of age-old practices? 

At Franklin Apprenticeships, we believe that successfully navigating this skills revolution requires a people-focused, outcome-oriented mindset. Our innovative talent development programs are designed to help companies bridge talent gaps, unlock human potential, and drive their missions forward. 

Rethinking Traditional Hiring Practices 

An article from Fast Company, Is Skills-Based Hiring Just a Fad, highlights the growing emphasis on skills-based hiring, a trend fueled by the commoditization of knowledge and expertise through AI. As generative AI becomes more ubiquitous, employers are realizing that mere knowledge or expertise is no longer a differentiating factor in the hiring process. 

To truly embrace the skills revolution, organizations must be willing to challenge traditional hiring practices that have long relied on academic credentials and university degrees. These credentials, while valuable, often fail to accurately assess an individual’s employability skills, such as learning ability, drive, and interpersonal competencies. 

Focusing on Future-Proof Competencies 

As the shelf life of hard skills continues to shrink, the key to building a future-ready workforce lies in prioritizing soft skills and human-centric competencies. These skills, which include traits like self-awareness, empathy, adaptability, and resilience, are less likely to be replicated by AI and are essential for navigating the ever-changing job market. 

True potential transcends past experiences and achievements. Our programs are designed to assess and develop these future-proof competencies, enabling individuals to thrive in roles they may have never encountered before. 

Unlocking Human Potential Through Innovative Programs 

To truly drive the skills revolution forward, companies must invest in innovative talent development programs that prioritize continuous learning and growth. Franklin offers a comprehensive suite of solutions, including:  

– Apprenticeships and occupation-specific “learn while you earn” training programs 

– Upskilling and reskilling initiatives for existing employees 

– Success coaches to ensure training effectiveness for both employers and learners  

Our insightful approach focuses on accurately assessing individuals’ unique strengths and areas for development, while our innovative programs provide tangible pathways for growth and skill acquisition. 

Embracing a People-Positive, Outcome-Oriented Approach 

At the core of our philosophy is a deep commitment to making a real impact – in the lives of the individuals we develop and in the success of the companies we serve. We understand that true transformation requires a people-positive approach, one that prioritizes human potential and fosters an environment conducive to continuous learning and growth. 

As the skills revolution continues to unfold, it is crucial for organizations to embrace an outcome-oriented mindset, focusing on measurable results and tangible impacts. By partnering with Franklin, companies gain a trusted guide in navigating this new landscape, ensuring they remain competitive and future-ready while also driving meaningful change in the lives of their employees. 

The skills revolution presents both challenges and opportunities, but with the right approach and innovative solutions, companies can unlock the full potential of their workforce, cultivate new talent, and pave the way for sustained success in the ever-evolving job market. 

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. 

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

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

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:


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.

Meet Kim Nichols - A Leader And A Role Model For New Career Possibilities

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in Forbes Magazine

Franklin Apprenticeships featured in Forbes Magazine

“This week marks National Apprenticeship week, and there is no better time to introduce the instructive example of Kim Nichols. She entered the world of apprenticeships the hard way—she created her own. After an orthodox education in accounting and business administration, she moved on to a successful corporate and consulting career. However, parallel volunteer work as a board member of the charity The Children’s Guild led to her going on a fact-finding mission to the UK on apprenticeships. Impressed by what she saw, she arranged a six-month sabbatical to work with London collaborators on how apprenticeships could be revitalized and expanded in the US.

She asked, how could “the ancient solution” of apprenticeships help address “our 21st century problem” to prepare workers for a fast-changing world?”

Read more online in Forbes Careers.

By Kim Nichols, CEO, Franklin Apprenticeships

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week 2021

National Apprenticeship Week Logo 2021

Next week is one of my favorite weeks of the year because it is all about apprenticeships! National Apprenticeship Week runs November 15 – 21 and is all about raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of apprentices across the country.

I am so passionate about apprenticeships because they are a tried-and-tested solution to the pervasive and growing challenge of how to recruit and train people for technical careers.

They give people from all walks of life a path to learn new skills and grow their careers within companies that desperately need diverse tech talent. Instead of going into debt for a degree, apprentices get paid a good wage throughout the program as they train and build job experience at the same time.

There are millions of capable, bright, eager individuals out there with a strong aptitude for tech careers who simply don’t have the time or money to commit to a four-year tech degree. Importantly, colleges are simply not producing enough qualified people to meet employer demand. College Factual estimates there were only 53,000 computer science graduates last year; compare that to 360,000 tech job openings listed by employers in October 2021 alone, according to Burning Glass Technologies.

We can proudly say after an apprenticeship with Franklin, 100% of our graduates are fully competent in their job roles. And 94% of Franklin apprentices stay employed with their current companies – frequently being promoted within the first few years.

That brings me back to National Apprenticeship Week and why it is important. Despite the proven benefits, there are currently fewer than 3,000 active apprentices in the tech sector according to the Department of Labor.

National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to build awareness of apprenticeships. Throughout the week, there are tons of opportunities to get involved; I’ve listed my top three below.

Together we can raise awareness of apprenticeships and hopefully take a big step forward in establishing apprenticeships as a go-to option for technical skills training making the American dream more accessible to more people.


1) Join an event

Take a look at the National Apprenticeship Week website to see all the fantastic events and promotional activities that are planned.

Franklin is hosting two events, including an Apprenticeship Info Session for Veterans and a Round Table for employers, Building Gender Diversity Through Apprenticeships.

2) Promote apprenticeships on your social media channels

Share articles and blogs (like this one!) on your social channels to help build awareness of apprenticeships across your networks. Make sure you follow us to get the latest updates on LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter.

3) Explore apprenticeship opportunities for yourself, friends or family

Franklin currently offers apprenticeships in six occupations including: Cybersecurity Analyst; IBM Z ® Mainframe App Developer; IBM Z ® Mainframe Systems Administrator; Helpdesk Technician; Network Engineer and Software Engineer.

If tech isn’t your path, there are tons of additional occupations available – take a look at for more information.