Report shared with permission by the USCIB.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. As the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce, the International Organization of Employers and Business at OECD, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment. More information is available at www.uscib.org.
Apprenticeships play a crucial role in supporting the development of business-ready skills for youth and in realizing goals of inclusive economic growth and an equitable transition to a more sustainable world. As U.S. policy makers’ attention increasingly turns to apprenticeships as an important tool in addressing the challenges of matching skills with jobs, many companies are already exploring initiatives to create apprenticeship programs to support the development of business-ready skills for youth.
The USCIB Foundation, in partnership with the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and the Citi Foundation organized a roundtable event on July 20, 2017 to bring together stakeholders from both public and private sectors to discuss best practices and the way forward.
USCIB Senior Counsel Ronnie Goldberg served as moderator for the session, while USCIB CEO and President Peter M. Robinson joined a panel alongside John Ladd, Administrator for the Office of Apprenticeship of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), and Shea Gopaul, Executive Director of the Global Apprentice Network (GAN).
The roundtable included representatives of approximately 25 companies who are either actively implementing apprenticeship programs or are interested in getting started.
The Challenge and Response
It has become increasingly evident in recent years that, while unemployment is decreasing, millions of people are still underemployed or unemployed, and there is a clear mismatch between employers with jobs that have certain skills requirements and people in the sidelines who don’t yet have those skills. To address these challenges, employers – in partnership with government and educational institutions like community colleges – have identified apprenticeships as an effective means to help provide a path to employment for workers and to fill their own hiring needs with workers with the right skills for their jobs. The Executive Order on apprenticeships recently signed by President Donald Trump provides a framework for the key role USDOL will play in supporting business in this key area.
Participants had an opportunity for break-out discussions, where a number of points were raised across six separate discussions:
- Do not underestimate the power of industry groups and trade associations to educate their members on the value of apprenticeships.
- Government can play an important role in streaming application processes, raising awareness of apprenticeship benefits and opportunities, and engaging with industry groups and community partners.
- Human Resources, IT and Finance programs are a great starting point for apprenticeship initiatives.
- Resource constraints could be an issue for some firms; building global or national standards can relieve burdens and assist with seamless implementation
- The general perception of apprenticeships is negative and needs to be overcome through conversations with both parents and students, perhaps beginning at the elementary school level.
- Scalability of apprenticeship programs is an ongoing concern.
Download the report.
Read about Apprentice Programs at Adecco, Aon, Barclays, Bechtel, Citi Foundation, Dow, Hilton Worldwide, IBM, Microsoft and USB that are featured in the report.