Banner
Training & Education

Human capital

By Udo O.J. Huff, M.ED.

Creating an apprenticeship program can be a win-win for students and companies

September 2011 - Apprenticeships are one of the time-tested solutions for addressing the reduced skilled-employee market. As formal employment contracts between a company and employee to develop a skilled trade, apprenticeships not only benefit the careers of new workforce generations but also ensure openings are filled upon attrition.

Counselors in high schools should be aware of apprenticeship training programs to advise high school students properly about future career choices. Parents and students should get information about potential apprenticeships from the school district and community for an alternative career choice to a college education. The problem is they often fall short of adequate information. On the other end, it is imperative for companies to know about the advantages of apprenticeship training programs in the skilled trades to enhance their current and future workforces.

The federal and each state’s department of labor regulates apprenticeships with regard to the hours of work, wages and the structures of the training programs. Under those guidelines, labor departments do not interfere with employment nor will a company become unionized, although unions typically have their own apprenticeship programs if a company is unionized.

Asset training
Benefits and advantages for apprentices (employees) are immediate and will sustain careers in the long run. Employment, receiving wages, health insurance and incentives plus the assurance and knowledge of moving along a career path in the skilled trades provide a framework within which apprentices can apply themselves. In the long term, apprentices can have the option of financing any further education if planned and have a starting point from which to build qualified business relationships with other employers.

For sponsoring employers, the return on investment isn’t just monetary. The articulated training program combined with a skilled workforce lends itself to continuous quality control and subsequent quality production, which creates less re-work and higher overall equipment effectiveness. With less workforce turnover as well as the availability of workforce training and development grants and ISO/QS compliance training, the return on investment will be realized in higher productivity and profit. While it’s a benefit companies will see in the long term, the control over workforce improvement processes and the production environment is the ultimate result.

Getting started
How does a company set up an apprenticeship program? The approach is multifaceted. The initiative should come from a company after human resources and training personnel have performed a needs analysis of what skills are lacking and assessed the age level of the employees/workforce for the skilled trades as workers near retirement.

Part of the needs analysis should be long-term versus short-term training. Existing on-the-job training should be compared to production quality and throughput. Included in the analysis should be the availability of senior management teams to act in the capacity of trainers and mentors.

Other important factors are the choice of the skilled trades, a structured syllabus and curriculum, and if possible, an equipped training shop. A business plan should underlie the apprenticeship program, factoring in finances, grants, a timeline and benchmark goals to gauge the return on investment.

The root cause of failure for necessary apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades industry is that training and development, in many cases, is overhead—and overhead has to be cut. Skilled trades training often requires machinery and equipment, which are high capital investments for schools and colleges. Classes in English, philosophy, arts, business and service are filled with a large number of students and do not require much capital investment. That is a line item to cut when budgets are tight.

The other concern that can stifle a company’s training implementation is echoed among managers: The company trains its workforce, and soon after an employee completes an apprenticeship program, he or she will follow the call for more money from another company and leave. A successful company knows that a well-executed and planned apprenticeship will be given high budgeting priority. FFJ

Udo O.J. Huff is an independent consultant with project experience in machine building, welding engineering, training and development. He holds Master of Education and Bachelor of Science in Technology degrees from Bowling Green State University. Questions or comments? E-mail uhuff@sbcglobal.net.

Interested in purchasing reprints of this article? Click here

FFJWEB homepage-AMADA2-1

LATEST ISSUE  
MFD Cover0822

lineclearAUGUST 2022

METAL FABRICATORS DIRECTORY

The 2022-2023 Guide to Metal Fabricators in the U.S 

tjs ffjournal webad sept2022

stamtec 931816 stamtec 2020q3 brand 300x250v1

Udo O.J. Huff, M.ED.

Instagram - @FFJournal

Banner

Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

T. J. Snow Company

TPMG2022 Brands


BPA_WW_MASTER.jpg