November 2021
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Fill Vacant Positions Using A New Apprenticeship Model

Over 12 articles have been published recently in the Wall Street journal alone that detail how serious this problem is today and that it is forecasted to get worse before it gets better. If you are ready to eliminate the painful opportunity costs of labor shortages experienced in your business, read on


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Author: Melissa Boutwell


Chairman, Emerging Technology Apprenticeship Program

Committee Chair, Coalition for Smarter Buildings, Workforce Solutions

President, Automation Strategy &
 Performance  mboutwell@asp-int.com




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Fill Vacant Positions Using A New Apprenticeship Model


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Before COVID, 86% of CEOs stated that skilled labor shortages were a c-suite concern.

Then, COVID changed everything and added more heat to our industry in the form of increased demand simultaneously to increased competition for people.  Recently, the Wall Street journal has published 12 articles detailing how serious this problem is and they are not alone.  This problem is forecasted to get worse before it gets better. 


THE INDUSTRY’S PROBLEM

We are not magnetizing enough new people to our industry!


If you are ready to eliminate the painful opportunity costs of labor shortages experienced in your business, read on.

  

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First, we must realize that we can’t afford to debate“who” is better for the roles in our industry.  Last month, Scott Cochran made good arguments in his Bye IT article. However, we’re in an “all hands on deck” situation. Both IT and OT people are critical parts of the solution.  Instead, let us focus on “how” we empower IT and OT to work together to implement solutions.


Then, we must recognize a few important facts before we rush to understand solutions:


THE SOLUTION 

Use a new apprenticeship approach aligned to our industry’s needs and actuated to diverse candidates coming from different backgrounds and bringing different types of experience.


This is the best way to get new people into our industry and provide the scaled solutions we need.

 

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Good News! For the first time in our industry’s history, we now have a real structural solution. We are pleased to announce the wide scale launch of the Emerging Technology Apprenticeship Program as this industry’s solution to persistent skilled labor shortages.  


Through the Emerging Technology Apprenticeship Program, we as an industry now have our own system to remove the heat caused by persistent job vacancies within “our” industry.  This article will share how you can establish  “flow” to remove this painful heat from your organization.  


WHY APPRENTICESHIP?

If you are not using apprenticeships, your competitors will! 


Did you know that the US Department of Labor statistics indicate that professional apprenticeships grew faster than traditional trade apprenticeships in 2020?  This was before the pandemic greatly accelerated digital transformation.  Today, apprenticeships are the fastest growing solution technology companies are using to “grow their own” skills pipeline.  


Consider these pre-pandemic 2020 facts: 


Stop and consider the facts below, before you let yourself push back on the term “apprenticeship” thinking that it locks you into a particular “trade” mindset.  


WHAT IS AN APPRENTICESHIP?

An apprenticeship is a job.


Apprenticeships are designed to transform “eligible” but “unqualified” candidates into qualified workers over a designated period of time specific to each occupation.


A registered apprenticeship is a job formally recognized by the US Department of Labor. 


Registered apprenticeships are sponsored by an approved entity that manages the legal, educational, process, and audit requirements of registered apprenticeships. 


Registered apprenticeships share five key characteristics:


WHY USE THE EMERGING TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM? 

This program is designed to rapidly solve the problem of persistent vacancies experienced by Smart Building Owners and Systems Integration Contractors.   


UNIQUE PROGRAM FEATURES

  1. Clarify our craft to formally solve federal contract requirements and gain access to resources

  2. Empower recruitment efforts with targeted outreach to sell our opportunities to new audiences

  3. Magnetize “eligible” but “unqualified” new people so they can become qualified

  4. Diversify outreach and candidate sources with a focus on grit, attitude, and aptitude 

  5. Equip employers to hire aggressively by addressing probationary period turnover risks 

  6. Mitigate turnover risks by building effective supervisory skills needed for new, diverse workforce

  7. Deliver online accredited technical instruction accessible to anyone, anywhere, at anytime


HOW INDUSTRY CAME TOGETHER TO GET THIS DONE 


Beginning at AHR 2020, industry partners began working diligently throughout the pandemic to form a network of public-private partnerships needed to establish the Emerging Technology Apprenticeship Program.  



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This new apprenticeship program clarifies our craft and enables us to gain access to all the benefits a US Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program offers employers and employees.   This program is designed by our industry for our industry using the IT industry occupations adapted to the needs of our OT world.  


Next month, we will begin to unpack “how” this program is working and share relevant stories from employers coast to coast to meet their customer’s needs and overcome their workforce limits to growth.  


NEXT STEPS AND KEY TAKEAWAYS


Author: Melissa Boutwell

Chairman, Emerging Technology Apprenticeship Program

Committee Chair, Coalition for Smarter Buildings, Workforce Solutions

President, Automation Strategy & Performance  mboutwell@asp-int.com


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