Solving the IoT Skills Gap, One Apprentice at a Time

Solving Your Digital Workforce Crisis With An Innovative Approach

Solving Your Digital Workforce Crisis With An Innovative Approach

Solving Your Digital Workforce Crisis with an Innovative Approach  

Is your organization facing challenges finding, hiring, and retaining tech talent? Are you finding applicants with the skills and knowledge needed to support your IT help desk? And, are you identifying candidates with the talent and experience required to move your IT help desk or engineer networks forward?  All so critical to business success today?

The Perfect IT Help Desk Support, Data, and Security Storm

The challenges are real: in the ever-evolving world of technology, it’s hard for business support teams to find employees who can keep up, much less stay ahead. New applications, varied devices, network security, data storage, and maintenance – each piece integral to helping customers streamline operations, provide the necessary tools to be effective, and meet the expectations of savvy consumers. Who keeps it all running smoothly?

Trained Help Desk Technicians and Network Engineers are crucial to economic success across sectors – they keep the data flowing. Yet finding the right balance between hard and soft skills can be elusive. Qualified applicants are difficult to find, candidates lack the right experience, and successful employees unfortunately leave.

Global Talent Issues

It’s not just you. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of job openings in the U.S. rose to 7.5 million by the end of March. And according to 43% of employers, IT positions remain the most difficult to fill.

This makes perfect sense when you consider that there are ten open positions in the technology sector for every one graduate. Fierce competition for such limited resources results in key positions remaining unfilled, allowing digital infrastructures to degrade and decay, and technical support to lag.

Global Training Issues

Those unfilled positions cost more than time and productivity, they cost money – an average of $800,000 annually, according to CareerBuilder.

Why is it so difficult to find digital talent? Close to half of employers blame higher education for the widening skills gap, alleging that four-year institutions aren’t preparing enough work-ready candidates for available positions. And given that 54% of all U.S. jobs require more than a high-school diploma but less than a four-year degree for success, now is the time to consider innovative solutions.

Global Turnover Issues

Maintaining a digital workforce current on new trends and emerging technology isn’t only imperative for your business, it’s essential for worker retention. Over half of digitally talented employees are willing to change jobs to keep their skills from stagnating.

And, Americans are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate in seventeen years, seeking positions with higher pay, better benefits, or opportunities to get ahead. When you consider the cost of losing a worker can range from one-and-a-half to two times their annual salary, suddenly retaining talent and experience becomes a priority.

The Solution

A variety of factors play into the digital workforce crisis: a limited pool of exceptional candidates, a lack of critical training opportunities, and an inability to retain talented employees. The data points to a national issue with a stunning impact right down to the community level.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Apprenticeships offer an innovative approach to finding, training, and retaining talented Help Desk Technicians and Network Engineers.

Apprenticeships provide a nimble, adaptive workforce fully prepared to excel within your organization. They’re the answer to the skilled labor shortage, the path to middle-skills recruitment, and the solution to attracting – and retaining – talent.

Franklin Apprenticeships offers employers, workforce development, job seekers, and educators with an innovative, modernized approach to solve the digital workforce crisis head-on. For instance, we are partnering with the State of Missouri to offer Missouri Digital, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to offer Franklin Digital, our apprenticeship programs built for Computer Help Desk and Network Engineer positions.

Let us help you to take the first step in keeping your data, communications, processes, and business flowing smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about the opportunities available through Missouri Digital and Franklin Digital.

 

Franklin Apprenticeships And State Of Missouri Announce Partnership

Franklin Apprenticeships And State Of Missouri Announce Partnership

In a recent press release from April 8, 2019, Franklin Apprenticeships announced a key partnership with the State of Missouri aimed at creating modernized apprenticeship programs in both the automotive and IT industries. This groundbreaking new program will solve skilled labor shortages, create new middle skills career pathways, and help communities in Missouri attract new talent.

The State of Missouri has been working diligently since 2016 to help its displaced workers, students and graduates find sustainable and successful careers. The new Missouri Digital and AutoMOtive! Programs will increase the skill and education levels of its residents while enhancing the states competitiveness in these industries.

Franklin Apprenticeships offers expertise and a proven model of apprenticeship development and were engaged to bring employers to the table to address the local economic needs of Missouri and to develop a skilled workforce. This expertise and collaboration with Missouri’s Department Of Workforce Development will help fill jobs that Missouri employers need to improve productivity and innovation and provide opportunities for Missouri citizens to learn in-demand skills and create new careers.

Contact us to learn more about Franklin Apprenticeships or read the full press release.

Apprenticeships: The Answer to Your Organization’s Latest and Greatest Emerging Risk

Apprenticeships: The Answer to Your Organization’s Latest and Greatest Emerging Risk

Speed of innovation, increasing regulations, and the pace of digitalization all remain as top risks facing organizations. But what is the latest and greatest emerging risk to enter the board room that is here to stay? Staff shortages.

That’s right – you read this correctly. The top emerging risk facing organizations isn’t responding to cybersecurity threats, or addressing GDPR – it’s the talent gap.

The Talent Gap Is the New Top Risk   

According to Gartner, Inc.’s latest Emerging Risks Survey, global talent shortages now top the charts as the greatest emerging risk facing organizations today after surveying  137 senior executives in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Many leaders find themselves at a crossroad where they need to shift away from traditional external hiring strategies, and consider internal training efforts to mitigate supply and demand issues.

Apprenticeship Programs Offer a Risk Mitigation Strategy   

In Gartner’s press release about the survey, Matt Shinkman, Managing Vice President and Risk Practice Leader, stated that “a common denominator here is that addressing these top business challenges involves hiring new talent that is in incredibly short supply.”

But, what if you had the ability to train and retain your own ideal workforce?

Apprenticeship programs offer an alternative solution to the growing talent crisis. Apprentices can create a high-value alternative for employers to:

  • Attract the best employees
  • Reduce turnover
  • Decrease training costs
  • Increase productivity
  • Ensure availability of skilled professionals
  • Improve community and employee relations

Partnering to Reduce Risk and Build Your Talent Pipeline

The talent gap is a national crisis that threatens America’s competitive edge. Franklin Apprenticeships is a consulting firm that partners with businesses and economic and workforce development agencies to offer custom learning programs that solve workforce supply issues.

Founded by professionals in the U.S. and U.K., the Franklin Apprenticeships team is passionate about applying the timeless practice of apprenticeships to create new training and retention solutions for employers.

For instance, Franklin Apprenticeships is currently working with the State of Missouri, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on new apprenticeship programs to close the IT talent gap for employers – Missouri Digital and Franklin Digital. Missouri has also released AutoMOtive!, a program focused on developing Automotive Service Technician talent. 

With each program, the States offer tax benefits or subsidies to lighten the costs of training and services so employers can focus on growth without the worry of recruitment, training, and program development costs – a win-win situation for all involved.

Discover how our apprenticeships can benefit your organization by visiting each program’s dedicated web page: AutoMOtive!, Franklin Digital, and Missouri Digital.

Build vs. Buy: Solving the Cyber Talent Shortage, Today

Build vs. Buy: Solving the Cyber Talent Shortage, Today

Cybersecurity Ventures says the worldwide deficit of qualified cybersecurity professionals will reach 3.5 million by 2021. Yet,  CSO’s Top 5 cybersecurity facts, figures and statistics for 2018 paint a more dire picture:

Since every IT position is responsible for protecting and defending data, apps, devices, infrastructure, and people – every IT position is also, to a degree, a cybersecurity position.

 That explains why the cybersecurity unemployment rate today has dropped to zero percent.  The actual workforce shortage represents an even greater supply and demand dilemma.

How are employers coping with this critical cyber skills shortage?  The ability to attract and retain the best and brightest is a constant, costly battle. Recruitment teams are poaching talent by sweetening salary and benefit packages. But, increasing employment costs is not a sustainable solution. Especially for companies who are losing talent to larger competitors.  And, as the talent pool continues to decline, the ability to dip in and not come up empty will become more difficult.  No matter how much money you throw at it.

So, one may question: What about new talent in the pipeline?  The next generation of cyber talent is almost ready to enter the workplace. Shouldn’t the numbers improve? The answer is: Not likely.  We are facing a shortage of skilled labor PLUS a shortage of skilled educators.  Most current education, training, and certification programs are not producing qualified, job-ready candidates.  Given the growing number and sophistication of attacks, this comes as no surprise. Cyber education requires a deep, hands-on, in the trenches approach to learning to produce qualified cybersecurity professionals.

The cyber industry needs a new recruitment, education, and training strategy. A strategy that can keep pace with the industry’s complex skill requirements.  A strategy that can also attract more talent to the field and supply qualified cybersecurity professionals.

Apprenticeships – A Perfect Solution

Apprenticeships offer a perfect solution.  In the UK, standards for cyber apprenticeship programs are opening possibilities. The programs broaden entry-level routes into the profession and develop new career pathways. This opens the door to a new genre of talent – individuals who may not have considered cyber as an option.  It also opens the talent pool for employers.  And, it moves individuals- even those with low or no skills – up to full competency in 12-18 months.

The move in the US towards modern apprenticeship programs is behind other countries.  But, initiatives have been underway in both the former and current Administration.  Fortunately, apprenticeship programs have managed to maintain ongoing bipartisan support. Last year, President Trump issued an Executive Order for “Expanding Apprenticeships in America.” A special Task  Force on Apprenticeship expansion filed their final recommendations. Cybersecurity, of course, was a sector covered in the Task Force report.

A 21st-century apprenticeship approach aligns cyber workforce training and education with employer requirements.  It rejuvenates training and recruitment methods. It builds teams of dedicated employees mentored to succeed (among other things).  The task force report recommendations offer inspiration and hope for change.  But, change takes time.

Do US employers have the luxury of time to wait for our government or educational systems to catch up? US employers who focus today on tomorrow’s workforce can begin to build it, rather than continuing to buy it. After all, the law of supply and demand is not working out in anyone’s favor as it relates to qualified cybersecurity professionals.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

 ― Benjamin Franklin

Interested in learning more about our digital apprenticeship programs, or becoming a partner? Contact us.

 

Where Have All the Women Gone?

Where Have All the Women Gone?

How Apprenticeships Help the IT Industry Attract and Retain Female Talent

For a growing number of women, the tech industry is losing its charm – even though it is one of the highest paying growth industries in America.  More than half the US workforce is women, but only 20% of tech jobs are held by women. And, that number continues to decline. How can the IT industry attract and retain female talent?

Why do we have this growing gender gap? A recent smallbiztrends.com infographic offers insight into the question: Where have all the women gone?

Experts believe that women participate in growth industries when career opportunities & personal interests, economic security & advancement, and financial compensation align. Let’s explore, briefly:

  • Career Opportunities/Personal Interest:

Several factors prevent women from pursuing a tech career. Eleven-year-old girls, once interested in tech careers, soon lose interest.  Experts say lack of female mentors and gender inequality are partially to blame.  And, perhaps unintentionally, many tech companies exercise gender bias and foster a culture that fails to encourage women to consider a career in tech.

  • Economic Security/Advancement:

 NCWIT’s 2016 report on Women in Tech found women are twice as likely to quit their jobs in the high-tech industry. Data suggests that women in the technology industry face more issues of gender inequality compared to the overall population of women in the workforce (and even compared to women who simply work in the technology industry, but who work in non-technical roles such as sales, PR, marketing, and finance, for example).”

  • Financial compensation:

Women who pursue high-paying IT jobs earn less than men. In the United States, women in computer, engineering, and science occupations were paid an estimated 79.2% of men’s annual median earnings in 2016.

Apprenticeships – A Solution Armed to Answer Crititcal US Workforce Issues

As discussed in our post The Growing Technological Skills Gap in the Wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the global shortage in IT talent has jumped from seventh to second position, with nearly 600,000 IT openings in the US alone. As technological disruption advances, this gap will continue to widen. Yet, given that women today hold a lower share of IT positions than they did in 1980, how can IT companies work to attract and retain female talent to help fill the gap? One approach is to address workforce gender diversity issues and increase the number of women willing, interested, and able to enter the industry.

Apprenticeship programs are built to tackle all issues concerning women’s attraction to the IT industry. Yet, recent studies indicate that US apprenticeship programs, overall, lack diversity. While companies often point to diversity as a goal of the programs, the overall picture shows that women make up a small share of apprentices nationwide (7.3% in 2017). And, sadly, studies also indicate that wage discrimination is bleeding into the white-collar apprenticeship market. Females and African Americans are earning less than their peers, and female apprentices in male-dominated professions (such as IT) are being paid less.

Modernized apprenticeship programs represent a tremendous opportunity for the US to alter years of workforce challenges – challenges that erode our country’s ability to compete globally.   We must strive to eradicate inequality in recruitment, compensation, and advancement, and prevent it from bleeding into the US IT apprenticeship model.   Apprenticeship programs must maintain race and gender-neutrality. Recruitment, training, and wage progression models must remain consistent for all cohorts.  Awareness programs supported by educators, employers, and communities must work together to educate young women on the professional values and opportunities the industry offers in a language that makes these jobs appealing to women.

Apprenticeships Help the IT Industry Attract and Retain Female Talent

In an effort to inspire women to achieve their career aspirations and potential at all levels and disciplines within the IT industry, we have developed The Franklin Apprenticeships IT Academy for Women. Employment and gender gaps can be filled by establishing apprenticeship programs serving women who are:

  • Unable to afford secondary education
  • Unconventional learners or school leavers
  • Stuck in dead-end jobs
  • Saddled with college debt, but left with no job prospects
  • Re-entering the job market (Returnees, Veterans, etc.)

And, the 4th Industrial Revolution – because it allows for workers with little or no college education –represents new opportunities for all women. This includes the minority, disadvantaged, and low-skilled female jobseekers.  Together, we can:

  • Educate disadvantaged female cohorts about IT Apprenticeship opportunities
  • Make the transition to IT jobs possible for those whom the educational system has failed
  • Mentor female cohorts with clear paths to equal upward mobility and equal economic mobility

By focusing on an IT apprenticeship initiative specifically for women, we can build employer awareness of apprenticeship programs to:

  • Attract, train, and retain talent
  • Address diversity imbalances
  • Create a future workforce
  • Strengthen the economy
  • Preserve and protect our nation’s competitive position

A long time has passed and yet interests have only moved in one direction: down.  Let’s bring back the charm for women in IT.

Want to find out more about The Franklin Apprenticeships IT Academy for Women, become part of the movement, or learn about how to launch digital apprenticeships programs in your company?  Contact us, here.