The Biden administration has been in the White House for 7 months and has already made quite the impact on apprenticeships in America. The result of the administration’s promises, changes and projections have yet to be seen, but here is the situation as we see it today.
1. Biden repealed IRAP
In a February 2021 executive order, Biden rescinded the previous administration’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP). The intention of IRAP was to move apprenticeships away from being government-led and handing them to industry groups.
The reasoning given for ending IRAP was that the program competed with the US Department of Labor’s own Registered Apprenticeship Program.
In the same executive order, Biden reinstated the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships According to the DOL, “The department’s decision to relaunch the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship follows its recognition of the clear need to engage with leaders and practitioners from industry, labor, education, workforce and community organizations to expand and diversify the proven Registered Apprenticeship model, and to streamline and modernize it.”
2. Biden has reinstated The National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships
As promised, the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships was officially reestablished in May of this year. The committee is creating funding opportunities for established apprenticeship programs, like Tech One’s Technology Apprenticeship Program (TAP)
“Our vision for registered apprenticeships is that they grow and expand into a variety of emerging industries and occupations, including clean energy, advanced manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity, and healthcare. At the same time, we can bolster youth and pre-apprenticeship programs, and make necessary changes to modernize the system to ensure it is reaching the workers who need it the most.” (US Department of Labor)
3. Biden introduced a bill to create “an apprenticeship college consortium”
In May, 2021 BIden introduced a bill that would provide colleges an opportunity to offer apprenticeships for college credit. The bill is in the earliest stages and has generated concern from leaders in the industry as it could be seen as direct competition to apprenticeships that are already established or currently in creation. (HRDrive.com)
In our opinion, one of the greatest elements of an apprenticeship is the diversity and inclusion it generates, especially within technology, where the barrier to entry has, in the past, been a cost. By mixing apprenticeships with college, the situation becomes more of a “pay to play” feature rather than an open field for all viable candidates.
The Technology Apprenticeship Program uses the T-Shaped methodology to assess all candidates and find the best fit for our apprenticeship teams. The T-Shaped method puts emphasis on character rather than skills, and has proven highly successful for our clients and apprentices. By mixing college and apprentices, the T-Shaped method would not be at the forefront and apprenticeship programs are likely to suffer from higher turnover and less commitment from the apprentices.
Whether or not each of the endeavors laid out come to fruition will be seen over the course of the next year, but the truth is clear: apprenticeships are a focus for the current administration and the financial backing is there also. If you are interested in a technology apprenticeship at your organization, get in touch with us today