Companies are searching for candidates to fill positions in growing industries, including clean energy, healthcare, information technology, cybersecurity and finance. Yet, more than half of human resource professionals believe the pool of qualified candidates that can fill these jobs is shrinking, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Apprenticeship programs can aid employers in tackling this challenge.
Traditionally, apprenticeship programs have focused on training job seekers to enter skilled trades in occupations such as manufacturing and construction. However, new approaches to apprenticeships are taking shape to meet employers’ talent needs in a wider range of industries; these programs help diversify the workforce and enable job seekers with disabilities to gain credentials and skills to succeed in high-growth, high-demand industries.
An inclusive apprenticeship program is an employer-driven program that can help provide access to lifelong career pathways for job seekers from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities. Training and instruction focus on helping apprentices master skills needed to succeed in a specific occupation. These programs offer opportunities for job seekers with disabilities from diverse backgrounds to sharpen their skill sets and pursue career paths through work-based learning that is accessible to everyone.
The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship is an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. We collaborate with employers and the organizations that connect employers with apprentices–known as industry intermediaries–to expand the number of inclusive apprenticeship programs in the U.S. Job seekers with disabilities can benefit from joining a program that is fully committed to diversity and inclusion. For instance, people with disabilities who enroll in inclusive apprenticeship programs can:
- Attain accessible on-the-job training and work in an accessible environment
- Earn money through wages or stipends while training to be an apprentice
- Gain skills and credentials (e.g., certifications, certificates, etc.) that can facilitate a pathway to in-demand jobs
- Work directly with employers and mentors–those who understand the importance of inclusion and accessibility–to receive on-the-job experience
If you are interested in learning more about inclusive apprenticeship programs and enrolling in a program, these resources can help you on your career journey:
- If you are considering enrolling in an apprenticeship program or know someone with a disability who is interested in new career opportunities, read PIA’s new resources “Advancing Your Career through Inclusive Apprenticeship” and “Becoming an Apprentice.”
- Find out more about PIA at org and read our resources for current and future apprentices. You can also check out our Apprenticeship for All Podcast for more information.
- Learn about enrolling in a tech apprenticeship program from our partners at Apprenti at apprenticareers.org.