New Report Identifies Best Practices for Creating and Sustaining Apprenticeship Programs

A new report, called “Jobs Now” aims to help U.S. organizations tap new sources of talent for in-demand skills that will drive growth and innovation – which is particularly important given that 95 percent of U.S. corporate leaders say finding the talent they need is problematic.

Jobs Now presents key elements of Switzerland’s successful apprenticeship model, along with case studies of successful programs and profiles of CEOs who started their careers as apprentices. Nearly 70 percent of Swiss citizens participate in an apprentice program, which has helped the country achieve the top global ranking in innovation and competitiveness.

“The U.S. faces a skills shortage that threatens our competitiveness,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s CEO for North America. “People are our country’s greatest strength, and apprenticeship programs, particularly at the local level, can play a critical role in developing new sources of talent while creating additional opportunities for our citizens to participate in some of the most dynamic parts of our economy.”

Among the best practices identified in the report:

  • Involve key partners and stakeholders early. Apprenticeship systems in Switzerland are one of the oldest public-private partnerships in the world. For the U.S., key partners include community colleges; industry groups; local, state and federal governments; and social partners.
  • Create buy-in within the organization. Not all decision-makers within companies are sold on the positive ROI argument. Pointing to the benefits can play a key role in changing mindsets.
  • Allow flexibility in designing the program. Each employer should design a program tailored to the specific needs of its business and the communities it serves.

The full report is available here.