Partner4Work in Pennsylvania researched a series of case studies on apprenticeship expansion and gave a nice shout-out to Apprenticeship RI. They see Apprenticeship RI’s relentless focus on employers as a key success factor. All of the new Rhode Island apprenticeship programs are employer-driven, instigated by business needs, and designed around a company’s specific workforce challenges.
Start with Incumbent Workers
Most of the employers Apprenticeship RI has worked with were interested in incumbent worker-training first. Focusing on existing employees de-risked the approach for employers and helped them get onboard. Once employers adopted apprenticeship and got to know the structured training approach, more of them have started to use Registered Apprenticeship as a training and recruitment tool for new hires.
Union Support and Collaboration
While the majority of Apprenticeship RI’s programs are non-union, those programs where a union has taken a leadership role and collaborated on program design are a bit stronger.
Apprenticeship creates its own champions because it works. Apprenticeship RI has cultivated employer champions in all the industries it serves. These champions provide valuable word-of-mouth promotion for apprenticeship. Moreover, Apprenticeship works for workers. Like a path in the woods, the apprenticeship model shows the way for employees to grow their value to their employer and their career.