As part of the US Department of Labour’s historic investments in the Apprenticeship USA initiative, the department s Employment and Training Administration announced it is seeking to award three to five contracts to workforce intermediaries, including community-based organizations; labour organizations; or workforce, industry and education organizations to develop national or regional “opportunity partnerships”.
The agency expects these partnerships to increase gender, racial, ethnic and other demographic diversity and inclusion in apprenticeships, among traditionally underrepresented populations.
These contracts focus specifically on increasing apprenticeship opportunities for women, people of colour, and people with disabilities.
This is the fourth installment of a $90 million funding strategy to grow and diversify apprenticeship announced in April 2016. They follow an unprecedented $175 million investment in apprenticeship announced by the Obama administration in September 2015. The Apprenticeship USA initiative s goal is to double the number of Registered Apprenticeship programs nationwide.
“When it comes to expanding apprenticeships to help traditionally underrepresented populations share in the growth of our economy and blaze a trail to the middle class, we cannot take our foot off the pedal,” said US Secretary of Labour Thomas E. Perez.
“This project and $90 million in Apprenticeship USA investments demonstrate our commitment to continue to diversify our pool of apprentices and break down barriers to opportunity in this proven earn-while-you-learn model.”
The contracts intend to increase the number of opportunities for underrepresented populations to successfully prepare for, enter and complete Registered Apprenticeship programmes.
Specifically, contractors will:
– Identify, develop and disseminate tools and strategies that increase access, entry and retention in Registered Apprenticeships for underrepresented populations.
– Through partnerships and direct technical assistance to Registered Apprenticeship sponsors, help apprenticeship programs develop diversity and inclusion plans and implement strategies that increase the diversity of workers entering and completing Registered Apprenticeship programs successfully.
– Support the continued replication and scaling of successful diversity and inclusion practices.
Research shows the value of Registered Apprenticeship programs. Today, 91 percent of apprentices remain employed after completing their programs, with average annual starting wages above $50,000.
The return on investment for employers is substantial, as studies indicate that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive average of $1.47 return in increased productivity, reduced waste and greater front-line innovation.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.