The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

The Role of Coaching in Apprenticeships

While coaching has long been embraced at the executive level in business, more and more organizations are recognizing its value throughout all levels of their workforces and embracing a culture of coaching. Here’s a brief look at how coaching fits into the picture for tech apprenticeships.

Coaching vs. managing

Separating the concept of coaching from managing is difficult if not impossible. Most would agree that the best managers are also good coaches in that they have a skill set that helps them get the most out of their teams.

For our purposes, we’ll consider management to be a process of review, assessment and improvement on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a given role. These tend to be items that lend themselves to being measured, for example sales quotas, deadlines met or customer satisfaction ratings.

While coaching may have similar end goals, it takes a more holistic approach that encompasses not only the business outcomes but the human interactions that lead to them. A manager, for instance, might point out to an employee that he or she is behind on a quarterly sales goal. A coach will seek to understand the attitudes and behaviors that are causing that to be the case, and work with the employee to map out an improvement plan.

An obvious differentiator is that coaching requires a more individualized approach. A sales manager wants everyone to sell more, but the coaching process to achieve that goal will differ from person to person. A coach is there to extract the talent that already lies within the person.

Coaching in the apprenticeship model

The tech apprenticeship model used by Franklin Apprenticeships recognizes the value of coaching, and was designed with coaching as a central component. Each apprentice works weekly with a Personal Success Coach to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement.

The key here is that those sessions do more than track progress on technical skills like achieving certifications (management). The organizations who hire apprentices want to know that they’re adding not just technically competent personnel but well-rounded employees. That’s why our Success Coaches also work with apprentices on the ‘soft skills’ that lead to better interactions with customers and co-workers alike. These include problem-solving skills, solution-focused thinking, communication, time management and even managing stress.

As an increasing number of organizations recognize the value in taking the next step from management to coaching, the coaching model itself becomes more and more important, and well-coached employees become more and more valuable.

Top 5 Reasons to Become a Tech Apprentice

Top 5 Reasons to Become a Tech Apprentice

There are plenty of great reasons to consider apprenticeship as the path to your tech career, and every day we see how apprenticeships change lives for the better. Based on our experience, these are the top five reasons to consider a tech apprenticeship:

Demand for Tech Personnel

Even through the pandemic, companies have been challenged to find enough qualified employees to fill their tech roles. Help desk workers are always in demand, and the cybersecurity climate continues to be a huge issue for nearly every organization, meaning a growing need for network engineers. Also, the nation’s largest financial institutions are facing a shortage of qualified mainframe/enterprise computing workers. All of these are areas of focus in our apprenticeship programs.

No College Debt

The average cost of attending college ranges from just over $11,000 per year for in-state residents at public colleges to more than $40,000 for private schools. And that’s just tuition and fees, not room and board. No wonder more and more students are considering other options. An apprenticeship track requires no college degree. You can have an in-demand, well-paying career without all the debt.

Paycheck from Day One

An apprenticeship is not an internship. You’re on the payroll with your employer from your first day, and you qualify for benefits just as every other employee does. You earn a salary at a reduced rate while you learn and achieve industry-recognized technical certifications on the job, notching a pay raise as each one is completed.

Apprenticeships Aren’t Just for Recent Graduates

Some of our apprentices are just out of high school or college. Others are parents returning to the workforce after raising a family. Still others are ex-military, or simply seeking a change from a dead-end career. Apprenticeships work especially well for those with families because all your training is done during work hours … no more night school or burning the candle at both ends.

You Won’t Go It Alone

Stepping into a new career under any circumstances can be intimidating, and there’s always the fear of taking a wrong turn. That’s why the Franklin Apprenticeships model includes a Personal Success Coach for each and every apprentice. You’ll have a weekly check-in session to make sure you’re on track with your learning and meeting your employer’s expectations. We’re with you for every step of your journey.

5 Tech Hiring Challenges, and How Apprenticeships Can Help

5 Tech Hiring Challenges, and How Apprenticeships Can Help

While the pandemic had a significant impact on employment, one longer-term trend remains unchanged: Companies continue to have major challenges with recruiting personnel to fill their empty seats in tech roles. There are many reasons why this is so, but here’s a look at five major issues … and how apprenticeships help organizations address them.

Lack of Qualified Personnel

Traditional recruitment methods produce traditional results, leaving a sense that the same pool of candidates is perpetually recycled with everyone just moving to a new seat every so often. Breaking this cycle requires fishing in some different ponds, and that’s where apprenticeships really shine.

Apprentices largely come from nontraditional sources, including people who’ve chosen not to pursue the expensive four-year college path and those returning to the workforce after military service or raising a family. And they’re diverse in more than just background, with women and minorities represented at well above industry averages.

Recruiting Costs

If you’ve hired personnel through recruiters, you’re familiar with the hefty price tag (20 percent of base pay, maybe more). And that might be fine if it led to long-term employees, but in the tech sector changing jobs frequently is almost a badge of honor.

The apprenticeship model is completely different: Candidates are paid a reduced salary while they learn on the job. And they’re trained not only on the IT skills and certifications the work requires, but on the soft skills that make them great employees. Not only do the numbers make more sense, the apprenticeship model leads to…

Engagement and Loyalty

As noted above, keeping your tech roles filled can feel like an unending game of musical chairs as candidates jump to the next opportunity that offers a few more dollars, and the next, and the next.

Our employers enjoy a 95% long-term retention rate after program completion. Why? Apprentices are reared in their specific company culture and are grateful to – and loyal to – the organizations that nurture their careers and give them the early opportunity to learn and grow.

Alignment with Company Goals

One major pitfall with candidates from traditional recruiters is that your new hire comes with old habits, not all of them good. Getting someone who’s had significant experience elsewhere to fit into your own organizational culture can be a big challenge.

Apprentices are immediately put on a track not only to check off the technical certifications your position requires, but to do their jobs your way. Weekly check-ins with both a Franklin Success Coach and an internal manager assure that tasks are not just completed but are done to your specifications.

Adjusting to Remote Work

As if successful recruiting weren’t already enough of a challenge, last year’s sudden shift to remote work added a new degree of difficulty. Recruiting, onboarding and training are much harder when they can’t be done in person.

We’ve been very successful in doing all those things remotely since long before it was a necessity. We’ve been able to supply organizations with great candidates who become great apprentices and employees by virtual means because our model was designed to do just that.

You Just Graduated – Now What Can You Do?

You Just Graduated – Now What Can You Do?

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You spent the last 12, 16, or more years in school. You have invested a lot of hard work. You have an interest in the technology field.  Whether you have applied to colleges, or have just completed your college career — you have some important questions about what you can do to get a good job, today.

As an individual looking to start a fresh career, you have some big decisions to make — and several uncertainties to consider.

If you are a high school graduate, you might question whether the college choice will yield the same results as you once thought.

  • Do I go to college as planned?
  • What if colleges don’t re-open in the fall?
  • What if they open, but all classes are online?
  • What will my return on investment be for all of that college tuition?
  • Should I stay closer to home for now?
  • Are there any other, more immediate career options?

As a college graduate, you might question whether or not your degree will carry the same weight as you once thought.

  • How do I start my career in a job market that has dramatically shifted?
  • Should I consider temp work?
  • What will my return on investment be for all that college tuition?
  • Will my major be applicable in today’s business climate?
  • How will I replay my college loans and afford my household expenses when I can’t find a job?
  • Are there any alternative, immediate career options?

Consider this: An IT apprenticeship is a good way to spend a gap year or post graduate year. And it offers an immediate return for today, and beyond.

What can you have if you decide to pursue an IT apprenticeship?

We have answers to all of these questions for today’s high school and college grads.

  1. You can have a full-time, W-2 paid apprenticeship position in the lucrative IT industry as a help desk technician with a company that is close to home. This is NOT an internship.
  2. You can see if an IT career is the right fit for you with a one-year apprenticeship program before you consider investing the $100K+ expense on a four-year degree. Or, you can begin working to pay off your current loans while determining if an IT career is right for you.
  3. You can embark on an apprenticeship that leads to a long-term career path 94 percent of the time (as opposed to most college grads who jump jobs multiple times before they are 26).
  4. You can receive three Industry recognized certifications (Microsoft or CompTIA) in the one year program with documented IT skills that make you more valuable — all at no personal expense.
  5. You can have a personal Success Coach work with you every week to ensure you are on the right track — and that includes developing your professional skills as a complement to your technical skills.
  6. You can earn up to three pay raises in the first year on the job.
  7. You can work a typical 40-hour week and attend online training during working hours with no night classes.

You could spend the next few years going to college. You could spend the next year waiting to figure out how to market your degree. Or,  you can take another track and jump right into a lucrative IT career as a Digital IT Apprentice.  Apprenticeship is a great way to crack a hidden, in-demand job market and jump-start a full-time career.

Now might be the right time to earn while you learn in an apprenticeship.  Determine if an IT career is your best destination.

How can you learn more about what you can do with an apprenticeship? Contact us.  

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