What’s a better way to attract skilled workers than to get them hot off the heels of an apprenticeship, and fortunately for California employers the number of apprentices is expected to reach 100,000 by 2020.
The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency recently announced that there are currently almost 82,000 active apprentices in the workforce and it anticipates that number to climb to 100,000 by 2020. A few years ago, in 2015, the number of active apprentices working for the state of California was 53,000, which means by 2020, this number will double!
The growth in apprenticeships is due, in part, to the $15 million investment the state made over the last 3 years through the California Apprenticeship Initiative. This initiative created new apprenticeship programs in transportation and logistics, advanced manufacturing, health care, and information technology.
This initiative includes preapprenticeship programs which are designed to prepare individuals to enter registered apprenticeship programs through industry-based training and classroom instruction. Preapprenticeship programs also broaden opportunities for underrepresented populations—including women and low-income individuals—to enter registered apprenticeship programs. The California Apprenticeship Initiative grantees have registered more than 900 apprentices and preapprenticeship programs have enrolled more than 2,000 participants.
Apprenticeships are an extremely effective and efficient way for employers to hire highly qualified employees. By the time an apprenticed worker is fully trained, the person has conformed to specified professional standards, is generally more productive than the average worker, is more committed to the profession and the employer that has provided the training, and has high job satisfaction.
If you’re looking to hire an apprentice in your company, Lester Rosen—founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources—offers this advice: “An employer’s duty of due diligence in hiring would very likely extend to an apprenticeship program which means that employers should consider applying the same background screening and due diligence procedures used for any hire. An apprentice who is not qualified or suitable can cause just as much legal exposure as an employee who engages in misconduct.”
Rosen adds, “Furthermore, before investing time and money in an apprentice, an employer would probably want to know the person qualifies for employment once the apprenticeship is completed. At the same time, a candidate for an apprentice program is also entitled to all the same legal protections as any other applicant, such as following the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), or California specific rules such as Ban the Box or prohibitions on considering certain criminal matters.”