The State of Wisconsin has a long standing tradition of developing local talent to take on middle skill jobs (requiring more than a high school education but not necessarily a college degree) across a variety of industry sectors through the Registered Apprenticeship program. In 2017, this program expanded to Information Technology careers.
Apprenticeship is defined as a training program that combines related instruction, on the job training, and professional mentorship. IT Apprentices can be sourced from an incumbent workforce or from other community programs. Having the program registered is designed to ensure a high-quality implementation according to a defined set of standards to ensure that every apprentice can demonstrate the skills defined by each program area.
Apprentices: Provided with related instruction and offered an opportunity wage with a set wage progression based on a structured training program until they are able to perform all required tasks independently. At that time, apprentices would begin making the same wage as anyone else in that role who may have been hired through traditional pathways. Apprentices are encouraged to check with their local Workforce Development Boards/Agencies (such as Employ MKE or Forward Careers) to identify employers who are willing to hire apprentices and check eligibility for supportive services and/or subsidy of related instruction costs.
Employers: Approve a training plan that aligns to a permanent position within your company, evaluate candidates, provide a stepped wage, and commit to a culture of mentorship that will help the apprentice be successful. Please see the characteristics of a model employer the Coalition’s Reskilling Committee developed in Q2 2020.
Employer Intermediary – Apprenti of Greater MKE: Some employers have indicated a value for a Registered Apprenticeship Intermediary who can help source and select candidates in a manner that reduces bias, secure and manage related instruction providers, provide guidance on how to set up internal mentorship programs to support on the job training, and file required paperwork.
The Coalition is partnering with Apprenti to offer this service to MKE employers (please refer to the public announcement for more info) and has secured funding for the first 50 employers who pledge to hire an apprentice. Kohl’s took the lead and is encouraging others to do the same. Apprenti is the program sponsor for a new Software Development RA. It is structured differently than some of other programs outlined below (related instruction is front loaded, training time is reduced, etc.). We expect more program areas to be added to meet employer needs for diverse tech talent. Please contact LauraS@mketech.org for more info.
Local Apprenticeship Training Representative: Our local ATR is your first call if you are not pursuing a relationship with Apprenti of Greater MKE. Your local ATR provides resources (such as a toolkit providing an overview of other Registered Tech Apprenticeship programs in WI), technical assistance, connections to available funding sources, options for related instruction providers to support the on the job training outlines provided above, and ensures compliance with any state requirements, etc. for a high quality program implementation. Please contact Nicholas.Abbott@dwd.wisconsin.gov for assistance.
Securing an Apprenticeship position is highly competitive. Those seeking an apprenticeship are encouraged to consider enrolling in a pre-Apprenticeship program to prepare for the selection process. Hours spent in pre-Apprenticeship training may be eligible to bridge to Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. Programs that are “certified” have been confirmed to align to the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program.
Other Apprenticeship Models
Not all apprenticeship programs in other markets are administered through State Apprenticeship programs. Please contact Laura Schmidt, Chief Talent Development Officer, if you would like more information or have input that might be valuable to informing our efforts.