Job seekers are looking for a clear career pathway that includes training, experience, certification and a guaranteed job. Employers need a structured pipeline of qualified workers and a plan to get them from entry-level to highly skilled as quickly as possible. The Alabama Office of Apprenticeship can help meet the needs of both job-seekers and employers through the new certified pre-apprenticeship program.
In March 2020, the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA) became the first state agency in over 20 years to be recognized as a State Apprenticeship Agency by the U.S. Department of Labor. This designation allows the AOA to streamline the process of registering apprenticeships within the state and enhanced flexibility to serve the needs of employers and workers. It also allows the AOA to create innovative pathways to prepare and enter into registered apprenticeship programs – which is exactly what a certified pre-apprenticeship is.
Pre-apprenticeship programs are starting points that allow a person to gain access to a specific industry and improve existing skills. Using a combination of curriculum, on-the-job training and simulated work experiences they provide exposure to industry, equipment and workplace safety practices with a dedicated apprenticeship partner. Completing the pre-apprenticeship makes an individual a more desirable candidate for direct entry into a registered apprenticeship program, in essence giving them a head start.
Pre-apprenticeships not only benefit individuals, but they also benefit employers. By providing pre-screened, ready-to-work employees who have already begun their training it ensures a pipeline of qualified employees. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has changed several aspects of work and education, it has highlighted the need for additional pre-apprenticeships and registered apprenticeships in our state.
“Now is really a time for employers to be thinking about their apprenticeship programs,” said Josh Laney, Director of AOA. “A major focus of the AOA right now is to help employers think beyond these uncertain times and use this moment as an opportunity to invest in their own future success. Ultimately our economy will rebound and the companies who are investing in training programs now will be the ones poised to capitalize when it does. Apprenticeships are also going to serve as critical vehicles for people to access the training they need to become re-employed in higher skilled and more durable occupations.”
To learn more about AOA’s certified pre-apprenticeship program and to download application information visit http://www.alapprentice.org/certified-pre-apprenticeship/.