Apprenticeship Resources

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 Apprenticeship News

DOL Blog Post - 10 Good Jobs That Don’t Need a Degree Having a college degree is more important than ever when it comes to being competitive in today’s job market. But there are still some occupations that don’t require a degree − and which pay good wages. Typically, some kind of technical or professional training is required, such as an apprenticeship, on-the-job training or a licensing program. Posted 03/03/2015

International Foundation Blog: Apprenticeship Leaders Communicate Their Challenges — At the Annual Employee Benefits Conference in Boston last fall, International Foundation staff led a series of focus groups to collect direct feedback from members and provide assistance in driving strategic initiatives. One session gathered 13 representatives who serve jointly managed training and apprenticeship funds in the construction field: trustees, coordinators, directors and other staff. These constituents communicated challenges that they are facing and shared strategies they are using to overcome these challenges. Posted 03/03/2015

President McGarvey Weighs In On Apprenticeship System's Merits, Challenges In a comprehensive interview with BNA Bloomberg's Construction Labor Report, North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey offered his perspective on the importance of skilled craft apprenticeship in America today, as well as the challenges the system faces. Posted 02/27/2015

Apprenticeship Plans and Fiduciary Responsibilities Webcast  Apprenticeship and training programs that cover private sector workers and are financed out of trust funds are covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor will present information on the basic fiduciary responsibilities, including recent guidance on skills competitions, prohibited transactions and exemptions, the reporting and disclosure exemption for apprenticeship plans, and the Department’s voluntary correction programs. This January webcast is now archived for viewing. Posted 02/09/2014

DOL Blog Post - Investing in America's Middle ClassA few weeks ago, during his State of the Union address, President Obama told the American people that, now that we are out from under the shadow of the Great Recession, it’s time for us to decide what kind of nation we are going to be for the future. The Department of Labor’s portion of that budget invests in programs that will provide workers with the skills and training they need to punch their tickets to the middle class. Posted 02/02/2014


Articles, Papers and Survey Data

United States U.S. Resources

Attention JATCs: It's Our Time To Shine  To take advantage of the Obama administration's new emphasis on apprenticeship training, joint apprenticeship and training committees (JATCs) may want to work with schools and employers to emulate the Swiss model of career and technical education. Featured in the September 2014 issue of Benefits Magazine. By Alex Gromada, Ron Tierney and John S. Gaal, Ed.D.

Top Trends in Jointly Managed Apprenticeship Programs: 2014 Survey Results   Nearly two-thirds of training fund representatives view hiring opportunities for skilled laborers as somewhat or extremely positive for the next two years as a result of increased demand and talent shortages. These findings and more are part of the International Foundation's exclusive survey of apprenticeship funds, Top Trends in Jointly Managed Apprenticeship Programs: 2014 Survey Results. Free to Foundation members. 

U.S Department of Labor Blog: Apprenticeship 101: Earn While You Learn   How would you like to receive a paycheck while being trained in a high-skill occupation that has a starting salary around $50,000? If that sounds appealing, you might want to consider participating in a Registered Apprenticeship program.

What's Working - Conversation with Joseph Maloney
 Helmets to Hardhats (H2H)—a partnership started by unions, employers and government in the United States and Canada— connects armed forces reservists and transitioning veterans to apprenticeships and skilled jobs in the construction industry and related fields. In the United States, where H2H began in 2003, National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military service members in most cases become apprentices with jointly managed training and education funds. In 2012, the program spread to Canada, where reservists and veterans are matched up with employers and often enter an apprenticeship program through joint labour-management apprenticeship programs. Joseph Maloney founded the U.S. program while serving as the international secretary-treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Department of AFL-CIO, based in Washington, D.C. Maloney returned to Canada in 2006 and is an international vice president of the Western Canada Section of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Maloney spearheaded the implementation of the program in Canada and serves as the chairman of H2H in Canada. He spoke recently about H2H with editor Chris Vogel, CEBS. 

Recommendations to Encourage Registered Apprenticeship - Community-Based Organization Partnerships The purpose of this paper is to better understand the key ingredients in successful Registered Apprenticeship/Community-Based Organization partnerships, the key challenges preventing partnerships, and to document feedback and recommendations from stakeholders about how the DOL might foster better engagement and bring successful partnerships to scale.

21st Century Apprenticeship: A Shared Vision for Increasing Opportunity, Innovation, and Competitiveness for American Workers and EmployersThe broad role of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship  (ACA) is to advise the U.S. Secretary of Labor on critical matters related to the Registered Apprenticeship system in the U.S., and to offer related recommendations. This report discusses the shared vision, goals, and objectives developed by the four main ACA workgroups, and offers the ACA's recommendations for leveraging Registered Apprenticeship to improve competitiveness and prosperity.

Yes, An Apprenticeship Fund Is An ERISA Fund The U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), has made audits of apprenticeship and training funds a top priority in recent years. Knowing what to expect when EBSA arrives at the fund's door will help administrators and trustees be in the best position to respond to, and survive, an audit/ investigation. From October 2012 Benefits Magazine . By Gary Thayer and James W. Versocki

An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States The Employment and Training Administration released a report showing the net benefits outweigh the net costs of Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs. The report, titled "An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States," found the social benefits of an average 36 year career of an apprentice exceed the social costs by more than $49,000. The report suggests specific strategies to enhance the success of women in the RA program, such as building women's basic skills and developing accurate expectations about particular occupations, providing access to adequate child care, enforcing policies to combat harassment at male-dominated worksites, and providing peer groups for support and encouragement.

Attention JATCs: It's Not 2007 Anymore! Based on the author's workshop, "Energizing Apprenticeship and Training Programs," at the Construction Industry Benefits Conference in September 2011 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, this article focuses on the importance of running a training fund like a business. Featured in the January 2012 issue of Benefits Magazine . By John S. Gaal, Ed.D.

Helping Apprentices and Journeyworkers Become "Financially Fluent" The International Foundation published an article in the September 2011 issue of Benefits Magazine , stressing the importance of financial education for apprentices and journeyworkers. While the article references U.S.-based organizations, the information is also relevant to those in Canada. By Andrew Staab.

The Intricacies of Apprenticeship Training Fund Collections —Fiduciaries of apprenticeship training funds have a responsibility to see that contributions are collected. Tough economic times may make that more difficult and trustees need a comprehensive strategy with a variety of tools to ensure timely, effective collection efforts. From the June 2011 issue of Benefits Magazine . By Karen Sollars, CEBS.

The Training Trilogy: One Union, Three Experiments in Sustainability —This paper contains three innovative approaches that offer jointly-managed training trust funds ideas on how to adjust to a seemingly unpredictable future. For too long, union-affiliated training programs—especially, in the construction trades—have been accused of marginalizing select populations, not devising progressive recruitment strategies, and/or reacting to the effects of the global marketplace. The following three case studies move beyond the stereotypical apprenticeship training model by examining: 1) the power of relationships between labor, management, and the community; 2) the importance of holding stakeholders accountable; and 3) the significance of leading change in one's industry sector.

Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Results from a National Survey —This publication shares findings from a WSI-conducted survey of pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction trades. Based on responses from 260 programs nationwide, the report presents information about program size, services offered, populations served, funding sources, and successes and challenges in placing trainees in apprenticeships or jobs. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the impetus for the project was a desire to explore the capacity of the workforce system to prepare individuals—particularly low-income and minority jobseekers—for jobs in the construction industry. It is hoped that the report will contribute to discussions about the need for investment in skills training and about ways to ensure that apprenticeships and construction-related jobs are open to more low-income, minority and women candidates.

The Greening of Registered Apprenticeship: An Environmental Scan of the Impact of Green Jobs on Registered Apprenticeship and Implications for Workforce Development —This report is an environmental scan of the impact of recent policies and investments supporting "green" jobs on current and potential Registered Apprenticeship and other labor management training programs. The scan highlights the trends, activities, and changes that are underway in several key industries that will likely make up a significant portion of the emerging green economy.

The Benefits and Challenges of Registered Apprenticeship: The Sponsors' Perspective —This report analyzes a survey of a nationally representative sample of sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs. Commissioned by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, the survey includes questions about how sponsors (mainly employers) view their registered apprenticeship programs. The study analyzes these survey responses on the value, benefits, and drawbacks of registered apprenticeship, its integration with the workforce investment systems, apprentice completion and reasons for non-completion, and suggestions for possible improvement. In general, sponsors report highly positive attitudes about registered apprenticeship as a system for training their workforce.

 Canada Canadian Resources
The Completion Behaviour of Registered Apprentices: Who Continues, Who Quits, and Who Completes Programs? —The number of registered apprentices in Canada more than doubled between 1995 and 2007, yet successful completion of apprenticeship programs increased by only one-third as much. Uncovering the factors related to low completion rates is a necessary first step to ensuring that today's skilled labour is replaced in the future. This study utilizes the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey (NAS) to investigate the completion behaviour of individuals enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

Case Studies
What's Working - Apprenticeship Financial Education  It's not uncommon for a fifth-year apprentice, now earning close to journeyman wages, to show up for work in a brand-new pickup truck. But apprentices often don't realize they may not be employed for the full year and that making monthly truck payments could become tough. By Chris Vogel, CEBS. 

What's Working - Innovative Apprenticeship Training —In 2011, International Foundation staff wrote a Benefits Magazine case study highlighting the innovative practices that the New Jersey Apprenticeship Training and Education Fund are using to overcome a series of challenges.   

Suggestions for Future Case Studies U.S. ResourcesCanadian Resources

Do you know of any training and education funds that are using innovative practices to improve their performance? Would you like to share your innovative ideas? Please submit them here.

Links to External Organizations

United States U.S. Organizations        

Canada Canadian Organizations

Future Educational Offerings from the International Foundation

61st U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference - Sunday, November 8 - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI Each year, 120-plus sessions are categorized into specific focus areas to help you build a personal conference itinerary that fits your needs. Sessions range in complexity from basic to advanced and our practical approach to scheduling includes repeat offerings of many sessions, giving you ample opportunity to attend the sessions that interest you the most.

Suggestions for Future Program Topics U.S. ResourcesCanadian Resources

Do you have a suggestion for an apprenticeship-related topic for future International Foundation educational programs? You can provide input here.

Apprenticeship News
President McGarvey Weighs In On Apprenticeship System's Merits, Challenges In a comprehensive interview with BNA Bloomberg's Construction Labor Report, North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey offered his perspective on the importance of skilled craft apprenticeship in America today, as well as the challenges the system faces. Posted 02/27/2015

PM Announces That The Canada Apprentice Loan Program Is Now Accepting Applications Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Canada Apprentice Loan initiative is now open for business and accepting applications. The initiative will help those already apprenticing to complete their training and encourage more Canadians to pursue a career in the skilled trades, allowing participants to take advantage of the many job opportunities across Canada. Posted 01/12/2015

Educators Call For Better Tools To Teach Skilled Trades  With 91 per cent of educators convinced skilled tradespeople will always be in demand, there is a strong case for connecting students to hands-on activities and accurate employment data, suggests a report released today by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA). Posted 12/18/2014.

Study Shows That Investing In Training Pays Off — According to a report released by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, findings show that 45 per cent of employers provided essential skills training to their tradespeople. Employers surveyed invested a median of $1,125 per learner and realized a total benefit of $4,071, supporting the business case for essential skills training. Posted 10/2/2014.





Articles, Papers and Survey Data
What's Working - Apprenticeship Financial Education  It's not uncommon for a fifth-year apprentice, now earning close to journeyman wages, to show up for work in a brand-new pickup truck. But apprentices often don't realize they may not be employed for the full year and that making monthly truck payments could become tough. By Chris Vogel, CEBS.

What's Working - Conversation with Joseph Maloney — Helmets to Hardhats (H2H)—a partnership started by unions, employers and government in the United States and Canada— connects armed forces reservists and transitioning veterans to apprenticeships and skilled jobs in the construction industry and related fields. In the United States, where H2H began in 2003, National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military service members in most cases become apprentices with jointly managed training and education funds. In 2012, the program spread to Canada, where reservists and veterans are matched up with employers and often enter an apprenticeship program through joint labour-management apprenticeship programs. Joseph Maloney founded the U.S. program while serving as the international secretary-treasurer of the Building and Construction Trades Department of AFL-CIO, based in Washington, D.C. Maloney returned to Canada in 2006 and is an international vice president of the Western Canada Section of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. Maloney spearheaded the implementation of the program in Canada and serves as the chairman of H2H in Canada. He spoke recently about H2H with editor Chris Vogel, CEBS. 

Trends in Registered Apprenticeship Training in Canada, 1991 to 2009— Statistics Canada studied registered apprenticeship from 1991 to 2009, focusing on four major trade groups: electricians, automotive service technicians, carpenters and plumbers, and pipefitters and steamfitters. The study examined the trends in total number of apprenticeship registrations for each of the trade groups and trends in new registrations, completions and discontinuers. Between 1991 and 2009, total registered apprenticeship numbers more than doubled from 192,945 to 409,038. New registrations more than doubled while completions increased 56.6%. Total registrations for the four largest trade groups had steady growth between 1991 and 2009, except the carpenters saw a drop between 2008 and 2009. The number of newly registered apprentices dropped in all four groups between 2008 and 2009; however, the number of completers increased.

The Completion Behaviour of Registered Apprentices: Who Continues, Who Quits, and Who Completes Programs?—The number of registered apprentices more than doubled between 1995 and 2007, yet successful completion of apprenticeship programs increased by only one-third as much. Uncovering the factors related to low completion rates is a necessary first step to ensuring that today's skilled labour is replaced in the future. This study utilizes the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey from Statistics Canada to investigate the completion behaviour of those enrolled in apprenticeship programs.

Case Studies

Suggestions for Future Case Studies

Do you know of any training and education funds that are using innovative practices to improve their performance? Would you like to share your innovative ideas? Please submit them here.

Links to External Organizations

Future Educational Offerings from the International Foundation

48th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference - Sunday, November 22 - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - The Mirage, Las Vegas, NV The International Foundation's 48th Annual Canadian Employee Benefits Conference brings you solid, straightforward education you need to make the decisions that are in the best interests of plan members and beneficiaries. The Annual Conference is designed to deliver you updated legislative developments, the latest cost-saving ideas, creative approaches to new challenges and collaboration with your peers who are dealing with the same issues you face.

Suggestions for Future Program Topics

Do you have a suggestion for an apprenticeship-related topic for future International Foundation educational programs? You can provide input here.