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The Business Case for Registered Apprenticeship

January 4th, 2017

Why would a company add the cost of setting up Registered Apprenticeships? What is the value proposition?






The only business case that clearly communicates value is one that will enhance actual, relevant, employee knowledge and productivity, i.e., the case for structured on-the-job training (SOJT).


Apprenticeships that lack SOJT are hollow and lack impact. How many times have I heard electrical apprentices describe how they “pulled wire” for four years in an unstructured OJT job?


If a company implements SOJT and documents the impact, adding Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is quick and easy.


I attended a recent Registered Apprenticeship Week meeting, and overall, it went well. Following the presentations, employers in attendance asked questions reflecting an inaccurate understanding that RA was some government/school program they signed up for–rather than something they must take action to create. It is my opinion that there must be a coherent business case (the performance impact of SOJT on employee performance) for using RA.


To persuade companies as to the benefits of RA, we must first master the message of SOJT. The benefits from moving a company beyond unstructured OJT to structured OJT must be the heart of the RA message. The ability to explain SOJT should be central to the RA message. Over emphasis on federal registration and related instruction will fail to persuade.


Message points for SOJT vs. unstructured OJT need to be standardized and actually drive the marketing campaign to expand RA. Effective SOJT trainer materials and lesson plans should be the outcome. A consistent methodology to deploy SOJT and develop a cadre of SOJT trainers across companies would increase the RA adoption rate. RA can be readily expanded once SOJT is widely implemented.

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