Effective Modern Apprenticeships Sync Workforce Development with Economic Demands

Workforce development organization IWSI America has released a new report, Using Modern Apprenticeship to Reskill America.  The report outlines how modern apprenticeships can tighten the nation’s widening skills gap and strengthen pipelines of needed skilled workers across a wide range of growth industries.

The report, which spotlights some of the nation’s top companies including EasyKicks with Nike, Mailchimp, Adobe and CVS Health, shows the effectiveness and versatility of modern apprenticeships across finance, health care, cybersecurity, engineering and advanced manufacturing industries.

Modern apprenticeships are work-based learning programs designed to fill the specific talent needs of businesses and industries and prepare individuals for the world of work with sophisticated, high-demand experience and skills.

Businesses are seeing tangible returns from their investments in modern apprenticeships through improved employee performance; greater workplace diversity; innovative product development; increased competitive advantage; and reduced turnover, training and recruitment costs.

The report also highlights innovation in states like Kentucky and California that are collaborating with education and business partners to build up their state’s workforce and boost local economies.

“Modern apprenticeships are adaptable and applicable across so many industries and are needed now more than ever to strengthen businesses and economies.  Employers experience a direct return on investment in apprenticeship programs and apprentices benefit from a earn-while-you earn model that often positions them with a direct path to a job and freedom from student debt,” says Nicholas Wyman, CEO and founder of IWSI America.  “It’s time to embrace a contemporary approach to workforce development that meets both the technical and interpersonal skills needed by employers and prepares people for lifelong learning and success.”

The traditional approaches used to cultivate talent, in school and on the job training programs, are out of sync with dynamic employer needs, and the rapidly changing nature of work requires businesses to think more creatively about their recruitment, hiring and talent development strategies, according to the report.  Employers are struggling to fill more than 7 million vacancies in the American job market with qualified candidates who have both relevant skills and workplace experience, while around 33 percent of college graduates are underemployed.  About 91 percent of apprenticeship graduates find employment almost immediately after finishing their programs.

MailChimp, an Atlanta-based marketing automation platform that the report highlights, is implementing apprenticeship programs to attract new talent, diversify its technology ranks and provide existing employees with growth opportunities.  The company reports high retention and job satisfaction rates as program outcomes.

“The apprenticeship program at MailChimp has not only empowered our in-house talent to grow beyond their current roles, but also cultivated a better pipeline of local candidates from underrepresented communities in tech, who bring diverse and unique perspectives to our teams every day,” said Eric Muntz, MailChimp SVP of Technology.  “That’s helped us build better products that do a better job of driving our customers businesses forward.”

Modern apprenticeships offer customized classroom and on-the-job training at reduced or no cost, with the opportunity to gain national recognized industry credentials.  Today, the average starting wage for apprentices is above $60,000 and apprentices mostly complete their program debt-free with the potential to earn college credit leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree.




IWSI America is a workforce development organization that collaborates with enterprising businesses, nonprofits and governments on growing pipelines of talent to meet dynamic workforce needs.  IWSI America works with more than 700 apprentices and trainees within a network of over 300 employer partners, across a broad range of industry sectors.