The Biden Administration And Technology Apprenticeships
“In recent years, both political parties have championed the apprenticeship model. The Obama administration set aside a record $175 million for the federal grant program for apprenticeships. And President Trump signed an executive order to double government funds for apprenticeship programs, followed only a year later by another executive order to establish apprenticeship programs with U.S. companies, affecting some 3.8 million workers.” (Forbes.com)
Now, that we have the Biden Administration leading the country, what can we expect for apprenticeships, and more specifically, for technology apprenticeships? Let’s consider…
The Biden Administration and Technology
- There is no permanent chairperson leading the FCC.
Biden chose Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for this position on a temporary basis, but without a permanent replacement to the Republican chair, the FCC is deadlocked with two Democrats and two Republicans. (cnet.com)
Why does this matter?
Net neutrality, the issue of hate speech spread via social media, and internet services in rural and low-income areas are hot-button issues that are unlikely to be solved or pushed to the forefront without a permanent FFC chair.
On the flip side, Biden appointed Dr. Eric Lander, a geneticist, former leader of the Human Genome Project, and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as the Office of Science and Technology director. And, Biden made this position into a cabinet position.
Our take on this research is that Biden is focused on the science and technology of COVID first and foremost. He clearly values the opinion of the leading voices in the industry, but the long-term issues and those voices that are speaking out, both for and against technology giants, are not his leading concern as he embarks on his presidency.
Now, How Does The Biden Administration Feel About Apprenticeships?
In February 2021, Biden announced a switch-up to the former administration’s plans for apprenticeships.
The Trump Administration created the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) in March 2020. These programs, existing alongside the DOL-regulated system, drew praise from Republicans and employer-groups for allowing employers more flexibility. On the flip side, Democrats and some employee-centric groups worried that the lack of oversight would lead to unfair work practices and unfair wages. (SHRM.org)
Biden has announced the IRAPs program will no longer accept applications, and the DOL-regulated systems will be bolstered. “The bill authorizes nearly $4 billion in new spending over the next five years on registered apprenticeships managed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the states.” (SHRM.org)
According to the White House official statement: “Registered apprenticeships are especially important as we recover from the pandemic, allowing workers who have lost their jobs or young people who are entering a weak job market to train for the jobs of the future while earning a decent income.” (Whitehouse.gov)
Overall, what we’ve learned is that the Biden Administration believes science and technology should play a major role in our government. That being said, with COVID still lingering, the new President has more immediate issues on his desk than the concerns of the technology industry. One of those immediate issues is getting people back to work, including a complete commitment to the endeavors of a regulated apprenticeship-system.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers:
Nearly 91 percent of employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey prefer that their candidates have work experience. (www.naceweb.org)
An apprenticeship could be the best way to get your foot in the door with a good company and gather the necessary experience while also getting paid. But many apprenticeships are simply set up by companies without experience to run such a program. Apprentices may come out with experience to write on their resume, but many leave feeling duped and discouraged.
How can you tell if the apprenticeship program you are considering is valid and worthwhile?
You will be working with other apprentices.
If you are the only person being hired for the project, it isn’t an apprenticeship program. There may be times when you are working apart from other apprentices, and you could be tested with tasks of your own, but the entire program will have more than one apprentice.
The benefit of working with other apprentices is that you can collaborate and learn from one another. At Tech One IT, we strive to build a friendly environment for our apprentices so that, even when working alone, they can lean on one another for support. This is an easier transition into the workforce from college and has proven much more beneficial to our apprentices than their peers that were hired directly.
You will work with a mentor, or at least in a group managed by an experienced employee.
An apprenticeship is a full-time job working within a team. The difference between an apprenticeship and a full-time job is the purpose. An apprentice’s purpose is to learn from mentors and peers (i.e., other apprentices). They will complete their apprenticeship with an understanding of workplace culture, knowledge of different processes, and organizational skills that are never taught but just expected of a direct hire.
At no point should you be taking the place of an experienced full-time employee. If you don’t feel like you are getting the full benefits of your apprenticeship, contact us: Contact@TechOneIT.com.
There is an end date.
An apprenticeship is a long-term project. It has an end date and comes with no guarantee of a full-time job upon completion.
Why take an apprenticeship without the guarantee of a job?
You never have a guarantee of a job, regardless of how you are hired!
The Tech One IT apprentices work for some of the nation’s most exciting companies, sometimes Fortune 100 companies and sometimes small start-ups. Imagine coming straight out of college and working on an IT project for a Fortune 100 company. That’s not an opportunity given to many.
You won’t be asked to do tasks outside of your scope.
Most direct hires that land a job straight out of college find themselves completing tasks that are outside their field. When I graduated with a Master’s in Communication, I was hired by a Fortune 100 company to write their training manuals. I actually spent much of my time packing boxes full of those training manuals and booking hotels for sales managers attending training seminars.
At Tech One IT, we work closely with our clients to set up apprenticeship programs that benefit our apprentices and use their skills. Sure, there will be an element of work that falls outside of your training in every job, like reporting, but you will not find yourself packing boxes!
The program is certified.
Tech ONe IT is a certified apprenticeship program. We have a Registered Apprenticeship Program validated by the Department of Labor and the State of Arizona.
By earning these certifications, we can work with the nation’s fastest-growing companies and set up new programs all across the country.
Apprenticeship programs are usually partnered with Universities, Colleges, and Trade Schools.
Apprenticeship programs benefit students and employers, so it only makes sense that a valid apprenticeship program would partner with local schools to reach the students. Tech One IT has outstanding relationships with Arizona State University, as well as several local colleges.