Webinar: A Workforce Strategy for 2020 and Beyond

Webinar: A Workforce Strategy for 2020 and Beyond

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The Learner’s Journey with Franklin Apprenticeships

This is a distribution of a previously recorded webinar. Please note: We experienced a pandemic server bandwidth break up in the 11:11 to 12:02 track. Hang in there with us, as the session picks right back up in short order!

Franklin Apprenticeships has been on the front lines helping employers apply apprenticeship as a recruitment, training, and retention strategy.

Are you curious to better understand the role apprenticeships play in helping businesses solve their skilled labor shortages? Listen in as we discuss the Learner’s Journey that occurs while executing a Franklin Apprenticeships program, and the benefits for both learners and employers.

You will discover:

  • The various stages of an apprentice Learner’s Journey from the business perspective
  • The importance of the on-boarding process and what to expect during the 12 months
  • How to determine the appropriate performance level to expect from each apprentice, including upskilling current employees
  • The proprietary, structured components of the program that Franklin Apprenticeships apply to lighten the load from employers and ensure program success
  • What happens after an apprentice has completed his or her apprenticeship

Join us as we outline how Franklin Apprenticeships is working with employers, today, to tackle a workforce strategy for 2020 and beyond. Together, we are #Changing the American Workforce in Challenging Times

 

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Franklin Apprenticeships Learner Journey Webinar:

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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.

Recent CTA Report Helps Tech Companies With Workforce Solutions

Recent CTA Report Helps Tech Companies With Workforce Solutions

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) recently published a practical guide to help tech companies source talent and fill jobs.  Released in November 2019, Why Tech Companies Should Offer Apprenticeships explains the value of apprenticeship in the tech sector and offers insight into navigating and executing apprenticeship as a talent pipeline strategy. 

The white paper is further evidence of the CTA’s commitment to help create and scale apprenticeships in the US tech sector – the fastest-growing segment of the American economy.   Together with member companies, the CTA has made significant accomplishments growing “new collar” apprenticeships – a term coined by IBM president and CEO Ginni Rometty relating to new collar jobs for workers who have technology skills but not a four-year college degree. 

This detailed guide, which follows on the coattails of the CTA’s signing of the White House’s Pledge to America’s Workers earlier this year, answers the need for a deeper understanding from industry leaders about modern apprenticeship – including how to build and/or scale programs. Franklin Apprenticeships, a CTA member and industry intermediary, announced its participation by signing the Pledge in June and is honored to be covered in the paper. 

“We still see a lot of confusion in the market about apprenticeship,” says Kim Nichols, Franklin Apprenticeships Co-Founder and CEO. “The more resources available to explain the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Where, and Why), the easier it will be for CTA apprenticeship leaders to reach their 5-year commitment goal.”

As of November 2019, CTA and its 59 member companies have committed to more than two million new opportunities, which equate to more than 14 percent of total pledges. Franklin Apprenticeships has pledged to train 2,500 technology workers. 

Are you an employer looking for inspiration and education about how to leverage apprenticeship as a workforce strategy in your company?  Click here to read the white paper, or contact us to learn more about how our digital apprenticeship programs are changing the American workforce.

Solving the IoT Skills Gap, One Apprentice at a Time

Solving the IoT Skills Gap, One Apprentice at a Time

Franklin Apprenticeships Signs White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” to Fill Growing Number of Job Openings in Tech Field

Franklin Apprenticeships Signs White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” to Fill Growing Number of Job Openings in Tech Field

On July 30, 2019, Franklin Apprenticeships announced that it has signed the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) White House’s Pledge to America’s Workers.

The Pledge currently has more than 50 CTA members — including previous signatories Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Ford, HP, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Toyota, VISA, and Walmart — that have committed to more than two million new opportunities, almost 30 percent of total pledges. Franklin Apprenticeships has pledged to train 2,500 technology workers.

The consumer tech sector indirectly supports 18.2 million American jobs and almost 12 percent of U.S. GDP. But there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the growing number of job openings in emerging technology sectors including 5G, AI, and Cloud Computing.

According to CTA’s Future of Work survey, tech executives report that software development, data analytics, and engineering are the tech skills in highest demand, with 74 percent of those saying it’s difficult to find candidates with the right skills.

“With workforce development in the tech arena being a critical issue in the U.S., we are honored to be a member of CTA and support its participation in the Pledge to America’s Workers,” said Kimberly Nichols, CEO and Co- Founder, Franklin Apprenticeships. “Apprenticeships are a cost-effective workforce solution that has proven to benefit both businesses and individuals.  As a part of the Pledge, we will prepare workers who are entering the workforce — and those that are underemployed, unemployed, or displaced — for in-demand careers, which will help ensure employers have the skilled labor they need to succeed.” 

Click here to read the full press release, or contact us to learn more about how our digital apprenticeship programs are changing the American workforce.

 

PODCAST: Frank Valdivieso, President & CEO of Gryphon Consulting Discusses the Value of the New Digital Apprenticeships Program in Maryland June 11

PODCAST: Frank Valdivieso, President & CEO of Gryphon Consulting Discusses the Value of the New Digital Apprenticeships Program in Maryland June 11

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For the inaugural “Changing the American Workforce” podcast interview, Frank Valdivieso, President and CEO of Gryphon Consulting, discusses why he chose to be one of the first employers to participate in our new Digital Apprenticeship program in Maryland.

The shortage of skilled tech workers is a significant problem for Maryland business owners. Finding qualified candidates with the appropriate mix of company-specific skills and cutting-edge training on the technologies being used today has become a top IT workforce challenge.  

To address this issue, Franklin Apprenticeships recently announced that we have partnered with the Maryland Department of Labor to develop a Digital Apprenticeship program for the state. Our new program provides high quality, long-term employees for Maryland employers.

Gryphon Consulting, an IT services company that specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses effectively deploy and leverage technology in their organizations, is an inaugural employer of our innovative apprenticeship program.

In this podcast interview, Frank Valdivieso, President and CEO of Gryphon Consulting, and President of the DC Chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), discusses how our Digital Apprenticeship program will enhance his overall business success.

Our podcast provides insights into the following key topics:

  •      An overview of Gryphon Consulting, and the IT services the company provides. (.35)
  •      The top workforce challenges the IT sector faces today. (1.34)
  •      How modern apprenticeships can help solve employer challenges. (2.34)
  •      Why Gryphon Consulting joined the program. (4.45)
  •      What Gryphon Consulting hopes to achieve through the program. (6.28)

Discover how Franklin Digital can help build your IT workforce by visiting our program page here. Or, contact us to discuss starting a modern apprenticeship program in your company.

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Case Study Interview Part 1: Franklin Apprenticeships Co-Founder Reveals How Microsoft UK Tackles Skilled Labor Shortages with Apprenticeships

Case Study Interview Part 1: Franklin Apprenticeships Co-Founder Reveals How Microsoft UK Tackles Skilled Labor Shortages with Apprenticeships

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Summer, 2019

Franklin Apprenticeships co-founder Dominic Gill has developed some of the most successful skills management training programs for world leading IT companies.

Dominic discusses his work with Microsoft Apprenticeships to help solve the UK’s IT/digital skilled labor shortages in the case study interview below.

Company:

Microsoft UK

Challenge:

A shortage of skilled talent for Microsoft’s partners and customers.

Solution:

Microsoft Apprenticeships: A program designed by and for Microsoft partners and customers to cover the most in-demand ICT roles and requirements.

  • Develop a program that offers job seekers a solid foundation to a fast-tracked career.
  • Drive greater productivity and diversified skills for employers.
  • Train and equip the next generation of IT experts with the relevant skills and experience to strengthen the UK’s IT sector.

Impact:

  • Microsoft Apprenticeships have been offered by over 7,000 Microsoft Partner Employers since 2010.
  • From 2010 to 2018, over 20,000 people have started an IT/digital career through the program, establishing it as a mature and proven model that is a viable talent acquisition option for employers and an attractive career strategy for young people.

Goal:

  • Help more individuals access IT/digital careers.
  • Enable employers to widen their talent pool.
  • Address critical shortages of IT/digital specialists.

L&R Communications: When most think of apprenticeships, what comes to mind is more specific to trade unions, as opposed to IT programs. Wasn’t it unique to see a company such as Microsoft take this route?

Dom: I think the first thing that’s worth pointing out is: Apprenticeships in the UK are more established, especially in more nontraditional routes than they are perhaps in the US.  Apprenticeships have been around in their current format since the former Prime Minister Tony Blair era. In the UK, we have a pedigree in looking at nontraditional apprenticeships.

However, I would say in the IT sector, they were not necessarily a recognized route. The reason that Microsoft got involved was primarily to solve a talent acquisition issue in its partner channel.

L&R Communications: What made Microsoft decide to begin with the partner network?

Dom: Both in the US and the UK — and across the globe — Microsoft has channel partners that work to support, develop on or resell its technology. In the UK, that equates to in the region of 25,000 partners.

In order for these partners to grow and, indeed, for them to grow the Microsoft activity they share, Microsoft understood that it was critical for their partners to have access to talent with the right skill set. But they were finding that there weren’t sufficient numbers of new talent coming into the sector and, as a result, there was a smaller pond to fish in — especially in new areas such as cloud technology and cyber security. That smaller pond also resulted in salary inflation, which resulted in losing talent to competitive rivals. If Microsoft couldn’t help partners to bring new people into the sector, it was going to negatively impact their competitive advantage.

So, first and foremost, we addressed these problems as a business issue in the partner channel. We focused on identifying key common roles that went across the channel that could be, if you like, apprenticeable. Our objective was to bring new people in at the technician level – potentially straight from school. We would provide them the necessary learning they needed to become competent, and to perform the role that was required of them; but to do that in a structured way. So, that’s essentially the program that we built. And it’s been an incredibly successful program, today.

On the other side of it, of course, this has been a great way to attract new people into the IT sector. It gives young people a fantastic opportunity – young people who might have otherwise been overlooked. Maybe academic learning didn’t suit them at that time in their lives. That’s not to say they weren’t graduate caliber. But, for various reasons, it wasn’t an option for them. What we did was provide them the most fantastic opportunity to get a job from the start, to earn while they learn, and to develop a career. In fact, we find that 93% of the people who start these programs are continuing in employment with the same employer.

L&R Communications: Well that sounds like an obvious solution. Employers need skilled workers. Individuals want a path to a secure, high paying career without incurring lots of debt. Tell me a little bit about how the program works. Is the set up and recruitment similar to internship programs?

Dom: Actually, that’s a really interesting point. I’d say that the mechanics are similar to setting up an internship. But I think the practicalities are different. And I think there’s one conceptual difference in that an apprenticeship should be seen as a permanent talent acquisition strategy – so, a permanent talent acquisition solution. That’s not necessarily the case of an internship.

I think when employers are recruiting for apprenticeships, they need to consider whether candidates have the innate strength to go through an apprenticeship program.  One question should be: If they follow the structured training, support, and assessment that is included within the program, will they have a long-term future with our business? And if the answer is yes, then they’re definitely an ideal candidate. I would also argue that they shouldn’t expect these individuals to have bags of experience – because they won’t. That’s what the apprenticeship is there for. They need to identify candidates who’ve got that innate strength.

So, I would say that’s a bit different than an internship where you are expecting somebody who’s probably completed a year or so at university, already. Somebody who has some skills, and the internship is a way in which they’re going to build on those skills — and augment them.  From the company’s perspective, an internship also isn’t necessarily a permanent talent acquisition solution.

L&R Communications: Once you finish vetting the candidates, what’s next? You mentioned that most of the new apprenticeships are coming in with little to no formal skills, training, or experience.  It sounds fairly simple, but how did Microsoft determine the credential pathways for the apprentices, create scalable models, and then ensure the programs were the right ones?

How this program works is pretty simple. Microsoft itself has to date only taken on a very small handful. I’m only talking about 20 apprentices per year. We’re currently at a run rate of around 6,000 apprentices starting per year through the Microsoft channel. So, we’ve worked to brand these programs. We’ve considered: What would be the common roles that sit across Microsoft’s partners and customers?  What roles would be in demand and, consequently, what would then be the common and core Microsoft credential pathways to fit the roles?

We then work with focus groups of relevant Microsoft Partners to align the roles to the certifications. This not only gives the apprentices globally recognized industry credentials but ensures they acquire a skillset that will enable them to be productive more quickly for the employers who are investing in them – essentially providing significant ROI for employers!  We then work with a select group of Microsoft Learning Partners to interpret these specs into deliverable programs and support them in rolling the programs out into the Channel.

L&R Communications: Wow. You’re giving companies the opportunity to build farm teams — much like in the minor baseball leagues — where employers can recruit young talent and train them directly under the tutelage of the organization, so that they are better prepared to perform a job. The results so far have been positive? Can you expand a little bit on some of the future goals?

Dom: Yeah. Definitely. I’ll just quickly point out that the way that these programs are delivered are through a group of intermediary training providers. We equip these providers to deliver the programs, but you’re absolutely right. These are ways in which companies can build their future workforce. I mentioned that we’ve now hit 6,000 apprentices through programs across the UK partners, per year.  In 2017, Microsoft announced a further ambition – a continued commitment that between 2017 and the end of 2020 – to add 30,000 more apprentices through this route. That meant doubling the current year-on-year run rate. We feel strongly obliged to honor that ambition and are excited about the possibilities it represents.

L&R Communications: Microsoft released a white paper at the end of last year in which they interviewed employers and apprentices to gather updated program feedback. Can you provide some insight into the research findings?

Dom: Sure. The impact of the program on businesses is significant. In fact, companies hiring apprentices have noted a significant increase in the monetary impact from 2015 to 2018: £11,782 in 2015 to £36,840 in 2018.

And, since 2015, the program has improved in all comparable measures, including enabling more diversity. Employers experience a broader skills base, better client services, and more inspired and committed workforce.

  • 83% of employers say they would recommend the program to other employers.
  • 74% of employers say the program has allowed them to gain highly committed staff.
  • 77% of employers say the program has made their employees more diverse overall.

A fascinating finding is that over the past three years, the reason employers cite for joining the program has shifted from cost-saving to value creation. While the cost-saving was the initial attraction – and a significant benefit – 69% of employers now cite training and supporting young people as a top driver.  And 60% are vested in bringing on their people to fill the industry’s future workforce.

  • Current apprentices estimate that they earn 31% more annually because of the program, equating to approximately £5,200 more in annual salary.
  • 75% of current apprentices say the program gives them more financial independence compared to their peers, i.e. the opportunity to start their career free of university debt.
  • 90% of current apprentices say the program gives them the opportunity to jumpstart their career.
  • 86% of current apprentices also said the program gives them a strong knowledge base.
  • 72% of current apprentices believe the program will help them achieve a higher socio-economic status than their parents.

L&R Communications: I understand your company, Intequal, will be providing the technical training component to Franklin’s US Digital Apprenticeship programs. How do you think the experience gleaned and lessons learned from these UK programs could benefit US employers?

Dom: Although the training content delivered should not be greatly different from that currently offered in the US, Intequal is able to structure the training to ensure it meets the knowledge requirements of apprenticeships.  This means aligning with occupational competency milestones agreed with employers to ensure the apprentice properly applies what they learn in the workplace, and are able to incrementally build their bank of knowledge against the training they receive.  This way they gain a deeper understanding of what they need to do to become fully productive in their chosen role in as short a time as possible — essentially learning whilst doing. Employers benefit from more technically proficient employees who not only fully understand their role and skillset, but are also embedded within their company culture.


To learn more about Microsoft UK’s Apprenticeship program and how Franklin Apprenticeships is leveraging the UK model for their expanding Digital Apprenticeships program in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Missouri, please contact us.

Next up: In part 2 of our interview, Franklin Apprenticeship’s CEO, Kim Nichols, discusses the current state of middle skill IT apprenticeships here in the US: What opportunities exist to offer quality program funding, planning, support, and execution to American business owners and job seekers, today?

Also, in our new podcast series, we interview Frank Valdivieso, President and CEO of Gryphon Consulting in Maryland, and President of the DC Chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), to discuss how our Digital Apprenticeship program will enhance his overall business success. Listen to our podcast here.

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Baltimore Business Journal Highlights New Partnership Between Franklin Apprenticeships and the State of Maryland

Baltimore Business Journal Highlights New Partnership Between Franklin Apprenticeships and the State of Maryland

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This Monday, Franklin Apprenticeships officially announced that is has partnered with the State of Maryland to provide local employers with a solution to their lack of qualified applicants in the IT arena – where the demand for tech workers is projected to be among the fastest growing.

The Baltimore Business Journal covered the news, and highlighted how the shortage of skilled tech workers is a significant problem in the U.S., with hundreds of thousands of unfilled cyber positions at firms across the country. It was also noted that Franklin Apprenticeships is initially delivering an IT help desk program in Maryland, and plans to soon offer training for network engineers and cybersecurity specialists as well.

As quoted by Kim Nichols, Franklin Apprenticeships will launch the first apprenticeship cohort in July – with new cohorts being added each month. Groups of 50 apprentices will also be designated a “success coach,” who will monitor each apprentice’s progress as they work through the education and job training sessions.

Nichols said the IT help desk program will act as a pilot for Maryland companies to become more familiar with the concept of apprenticeships, while training employees for an important but relatively low-risk position.

“We see this as a great opportunity to build a skilled pipeline. We hear from lots of employers all the time who are struggling to find talent,” Nichols told the Baltimore Business Journal. “This way, they may have to be open to bringing someone in who may not have all the skills they’re looking for, but though an apprenticeship program can be trained up to meet their needs.”

Click here to read the press release and here for the full article.

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