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Bechtel’s Impact Report

Industry-Leading Apprenticeship Programs

  • By
    portrait of Tam Nguyen
    Tam Nguyen, General Manager,
  • 29 September 2017

Sharing with permission from USCIB.


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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 how to create apprenticeship programs to support the development of business-ready skills for youth.

Below are details of apprenticeship programs at companies that participated in the roundtable.

Adecco Group NA

In October 2016, The Adecco Group NA made a public pledge to facilitate 10,000 work-based learnings, with an emphasis on apprenticeships by 2020 in the US. The Adecco Group’s global initiatives combined with Adecco’s successful Youth Employment Solution (YES!) program supporting the State of Kentucky puts Adecco at the forefront of the apprenticeship movement. The YES! Program offers work-based learning opportunities to high school students. The local Adecco team worked hand and hand with state and local officials in Kentucky to implement the program. So far, the YES program has:

  • Introduced thousands of students and educators to the merits of work-based learning;
  • On track to place over 100+ students in work-based opportunities by end of 2017


The Aon Apprenticeship Program signifies the evolution of its talent strategy: Aon is connecting with a wide, diverse pool of prospective colleagues earlier in their careers and cultivating future talent through on-the-job training and development that is specific to Aon’s roles and business objectives. Aon offers apprenticeships in areas of account 6 management, client support, financial analysis, human resources, and information technology. Through its partnerships with Harold Washington College and Harper College, Aon will hire 25 apprentices each year for the next four years. Apprentices are full-time employees, earn competitive salaries and benefits, and receive paid tuition. Upon completion of the program, graduates receive an associate’s degree and a full-time job offer to pursue a career at Aon. 


Barclays currently has two apprenticeship programs in the UK, the Foundation Apprenticeship and the Higher Apprenticeship. Both programs take people of all ages. In particular, the programs target long term unemployed or those with barriers to work such as disability. For the Higher Apprenticeship program, participants must meet a certain educational or work experience requirement before starting as a Higher Apprentice as these programs lead to a degree or degree equivalent qualification.

The Foundation Apprenticeship provides extensive training and mentoring for the participants, and after up to 18 months, apprentices secure a full-time role and can progress on to complete higher level qualifications. Higher Apprentices can work in a variety of areas, including Group Finance, Risk, Internal Audit, Leadership and Management, and Relationship Management. Barclays also has Technology Apprenticeships, which help people launch an IT career at both the Foundation and Higher level. The program aims to provide apprentices with permanent positions in the IT department at Barclays and to achieve a four-year university degree in IT, with promotions available upon completion of education.


In March 2017, Bechtel launched a welding and applied technology center (WATC), a facility focused on industry welding innovation and training. The Houston full-scale testing and construction center houses Bechtel technical and subject matter experts, all focused on accelerating technology advances in the construction industry, providing enhanced training for welders and construction workers. The WATC offers hands-on virtual training and reality simulations in a safe and controlled environment. Building on its experience with the Business Roundtable’s Gulf Coast Workforce Development Initiative, Bechtel implemented a comprehensive program to recruit and develop an estimated 8,000 construction workers to support energy development along the U.S. Gulf Coast. In partnership with the National Center for Construction Education and Research and local community colleges, Bechtel developed certification programs in critical craft areas.

Construction Worker

Bechtel is also committed to providing vocational education, training, and career opportunities for U.S. veterans wherever they work. With Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board, and Las Positas College, Bechtel is supporting an academic program to provide technical education and hands-on training for veterans in New Mexico. Along the U.S. Gulf Coast, Bechtel has partnered with the Military Relations Strategic Initiative to align military training and experience with the needs of its projects to increase construction-related employment opportunities for veterans. In 2014, Bechtel hired nearly 500 veterans for craft and nonmanual positions, and exceeded the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ veteran-hire requirements, a goal that Bechtel has achieved since 2012. Bechtel also earned the 2015 Military Friendly® Employer elite designation by the publishers of G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse magazines. 

Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress is a global initiative to address the issue of youth unemployment. The initiative supports people aged 16-24 in developing entrepreneurship, financial and workplace skills and entering the formal economy through jobs. In February 2017, the Citi Foundation expanded its philanthropic efforts with an additional $100 million investment to impact 500,000 youth by 2020. To support the initiative, Citi is mobilizing10,000 volunteers to serve as mentors and advisors, has commissioned research on youth economic opportunities, and has partnered with community organizations all across the world. 


The Dow U.S. Apprenticeship Program provides multi-year training and on-the-job experiences in manufacturing and engineering, offering opportunities in roles such as: Chemical Pr ocess Technician, Instrument Electrical Technician, and Millwright. The program offers its apprentices competitive wages, and through its partnerships with local community colleges, also offers tuition for a two-year college degree. The program aims to provide specialized training in competitive manufacturing specialties, and to create a pipeline of talent to maintain a highly skilled technical workforce in the manufacturing and engineering industries. 

Hilton Worldwide

In 2014, Hilton Worldwide announced a commitment to impact at least 1 million youth by 2019, by: 1) connecting them with opportunities in Hilton’s expansive value chain, 2) preparing them with life and professional skills through mentorship programs, apprenticeships, and career awareness programs, or 3) employing them across Hilton’s hotels worldwide. Currently, Hilton has a range of programs focused on youth and talent development in the hospitality sector, including: apprenticeship programs widespread across Europe and Asia, partnerships with over 50 hospitality schools and universities, professional development programs, training for life and soft skills in partnership with the International Youth Foundation (IYF)’s Passport to Success initiative, and Careers@HiltonLive, where hotels connect with youth via job fairs, career guidance talks and job shadowing to learn about careers in hospitality. 


IBM’s Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) is an innovative grades 9- 14 public school model with a clear pathway from high school to college and career for students from all academic backgrounds. In six years or less, P-TECH students, who are not screened for admission, graduate with a high school diploma and a no-cost, two-year associate degree connected to a growth industry. Each P-TECH school works with a corporate partner, a local community college and school district to ensure an academically rigorous and economically relevant curriculum. Hallmarks of the program include one-on-one mentoring, workplace learning, structured workplace visits, skills instruction, paid summer internships and first-in-line consideration for job openings with the school’s partnering company.

P-TECH graduates are fully prepared to begin successful careers in the 21st century workplace, continue their educations at the four-year college and university level and beyond, or both. Currently, the replicable and sustainable P-TECH model encompasses a network of almost 60 schools, serving thousands of students across six states in the U.S. and 8 Australia. Together, these schools are spearheading an international effort to reform and revitalize career and technical education (CTE).

The IBM New Collar initiative is helping to close today's technical skills gap through new programs and partnerships that are making the workforce more diverse and inclusive. As part of IBM’s focus on expanding new collar opportunities and growing the skills needed for emerging roles in areas like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and cloud computing, they are committed to:

  • Investing $1 billion in skills training and development programs for IBM’s U.S. workforce over the next four years; Expanding partnerships with U.S. community colleges to create more new collar skills training opportunities;
  • Launching new apprenticeship programs in advanced IT fields to make high tech jobs more accessible to more U.S. workers;
  • Advocating for public policy initiatives to bring U.S. skills training and education into the 21st century

These partnerships and commitments are helping more Americans get access to industry-relevant skills training, enabling community colleges to infuse curriculum with access to free IBM tools and solutions, and are providing paid training opportunities in the form of apprenticeships. 

Microsoft and LinkedIn

Microsoft and LinkedIn support a number of training opportunities and partnerships that help individuals develop in-demand skills and prepare them for technology jobs. Some examples include:

Microsoft has a partnership with the Apprenti Program of the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) Workforce Institute. The Apprenti program provides a proven, reliable pipeline for underrepresented groups to gain training, certification, and placement within the tech industry. Through this registered apprenticeship program Microsoft supports individuals through pre-apprenticeship training and a subsequent 12-month apprenticeship at Microsoft as Software Developers. In 2017 Microsoft is supporting two cohorts—for a total of over 40 participants—as they embark upon this program.

At LinkedIn, REACH is a 6 month apprenticeship program where individuals are placed on one of our functional engineering teams, learn from their managers, and develop applications at scale. They gain insight to what it’s like to work as a software engineer at LinkedIn and gain experience that will be leveraged for a future career in software engineering. At the end of the program, successful apprentices have the potential to be offered a full time software engineering role. This position is a short-term employee role for 6 months in its Sunnyvale office. The first cohort started in April 2017 with 29 talented and passionate apprentices joining LinkedIn.


UBS offers key talent development programs, business education and role-specific training. Group-wide key talent programs prepare both junior and senior employees for enhanced responsibilities and line management or leadership roles. UBS also places particular emphasis on providing training and development opportunities for early-career and midlevel 9 employees. For example, UBS is one of the top educators of entry level talent in Switzerland, investing each year in training programs for more than 2,000 young people, including students, high school and university graduates, interns and apprentices. In 2016 in Switzerland UBS hired 290 apprentices for business and IT roles, and 197 trainees for its Bank Entry Program for high school graduates. In the UK, UBS launched and have successfully run its Wealth Management UK Apprenticeship Program since 2014. This enables young people to enter the financial services industry through a structured training, role specific process and procedure program.

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