Learning & Development

Are You Expanding Access to Apprenticeships and On-the-Job Training?

In today’s Advisor, we feature several companies that have seen the value of developing on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

PG&E recognizes the value of developing its internal talent and has set a new goal of filling 75% of management roles from within. In an effort to meet that goal, PG&E is launching “Leading Forward,” a program that will include hands-on work experience, classroom experience, and mentorship and give more than 2,500 PG&E employees a clear career map for continuous development and internal advancement.
In partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, PG&E is also launching two new apprenticeship programs to help frontline workers upskill into more senior jobs.
PG&E announced the launch of those programs as part of a White House Summit this spring aimed at addressing the need to expand economic opportunity for low-wage workers and develop a more-skilled workforce.
PG&E joined 100 employers that made concrete commitments to expand access to apprenticeships and on-the-job training. At the summit, 30 national and local labor unions and nonprofit groups also unveiled their upskilling plans for working with employers to provide more access to best practice training strategies, according to the Aspen Institute Skills for America’s Future, a partner in UpSkill America. The UpSkill America partnership is a coalition of business, labor, education, workforce training, and human resource organizations.

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Metaphase Technologies (along with its sister company, LED Living Technology) committed to raising 20% of its current production line to management positions by 2016 (with increased salaries and opportunities for growth). Among other workforce-development priorities, the company said it will select 20% to 30% of the current workforce for education at higher-level product lines, offer subsidized language software programs and classes to all employees, and maintain a 50% postapprentice hiring frequency.
Orange Research, Inc., announced that it has set a goal to spend 1% of working hours in 2015 on intentional skill improvement. By adding training on lean techniques, team leadership training, skills enhancements, and cross-training efforts for frontline workers, the company is striving to prepare more of its employees for leadership roles within the company.
Zurich North America is establishing a first-of-its kind apprenticeship program for the insurance industry. Under this program, Zurich will recruit college students and help prepare them for jobs as underwriters and claims professionals. Twenty students are expected to make up the inaugural class in 2016, and the company plans to have 100 apprentices complete the program by 2020. As the program evolves, other employers in the insurance industry will be invited to join.
CVS Health announced plans to double its pharmacy technician and retail management apprenticeship program to reach a goal of 3,000 apprentices and to expand access to job-advancement training for its employees by launching two new regional learning centers—in addition to the six that CVS Health currently operates in partnership with community colleges and other community service organizations. The centers are designed to help thousands of workers build customer service and healthcare-related job skills and advance in their careers.
In addition, employers, such as Gap® Inc., Capital One, McDonald’s®, and Walmart®, are expanding their partnerships with online educational organizations to enable millions of frontline workers to earn credentials and develop the skills needed for more senior roles in their organizations.

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For more information on strengthening existing or jumpstarting new upskilling initiatives, see A GUIDE TO UPSKILLING AMERICA’S FRONTLINE WORKERS: A Handbook for Employers.
In tomorrow’s Advisor, we’ll look at a partnership program that provides a year of training in skilled trades.

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