We hear this constantly in our industry. The aftermarket community is desperate for talent in hotrod shops, automotive shops, welding, fabricating and on and on! I recently heard a podcast about how Germany is the leader in these types of programs and their manufacturing sector is almost twice the size of ours.
This got me thinking about why the US is not promoting more of these programs and how, maybe, we should take the initiative in our own shop and facility. Just a little research lead me to a lot of information about programs here in the US AND available grants.
America was Built by the Hands of Apprentices. The history of apprenticeships dates back thousands of years, but written reference to this practice first surfaced about 4,000 years ago in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, which stated that “artisans teach their crafts to the youth” so the skills learned can continue.
In the past, some of America’s most celebrated citizens trained entirely outside of college, such as Abraham Lincoln, who studied to be a lawyer with the help of local attorney offices. But, as college became the default path to top professions in the 20th century, apprenticeships fell out of favor with America’s upwardly mobile culture.
We want to help!
So, we thought we would share some information with you and offer a way for our fellow aftermarket companies to get the word out about programs they want to offer in shop or facility.
Take a few minutes to read abbreviated information below and if you already have a program or want to let others know you are accepting apprentices, let us know and we will share across our media channels. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put APPRENTICE in the subject line. We will help you get the word out.
US verses Germany
The American industrial sector is at a crossroads. The fourth industrial revolution has ushered in automation and precision manufacturing that increasingly requires highly specialized skills. Employers, government officials and higher education leaders alike are looking for a way for workers to acquire the expertise needed for the jobs of tomorrow.
Apprenticeships are typically associated with Germany, but they are gaining steam in the U.S. After all, there are more than 500,000 Americans currently in apprenticeship programs that offer an alternative pathway to traditional higher education — one that can bridge the STEM talent gap.
What makes the apprenticeship model so effective is a mix of classroom instruction at a high school, college or university with on-the-job training. That combination is invaluable in a rapidly changing industrial community where extremely specific skill sets are required.
However, colleges, universities or employers interested in starting an apprenticeship program should be wary of simply copying the German model. The two countries’ education and training systems are too different. To be successful, the U.S. must adapt the German model. To be certain, this will require work and there may be some missteps along the way, but the long-term benefit is immense.
Manufacturing accounts for nearly a quarter of Germany’s economy. In the U.S., it’s about half that. A key element of that success is Germany’s apprenticeship training program.
Every year, about half a million young Germans enter the workforce through these programs. They provide a steady stream of highly qualified industrial workers that helps Germany maintain a reputation for producing top-quality products.
Apprenticeship models, which have been perfected in Germany over centuries, are one of the easiest ways to resolve the talent gap in our aftermarket and auto shop industries.
What is the US Government offering?
It turns out the US Government is offering grants and programs nationwide and has awarded nearly 100 million dollars as of February of this year. Using H-1B training funds, grant awards range from $500,000 to $6 million to each organization partnering with businesses ready to train apprentices. The grantees include institutions of higher education, state systems of higher education, nonprofit trade organizations, industry or employer associations, labor unions, and labor-management organizations.
The grant program will support the training of more than 92,000 individuals in new or expanded apprenticeship programs, and increase access to apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans, particularly veterans, military spouses, service members reentering the civilian workforce, and groups underrepresented in current apprenticeship programs. The projects will expand apprenticeships on any scale – ranging from local/regional, to state and/or national – and encompass Opportunity Zones across the country.
We think it is worth a look to find good help and have some financial assistance in getting them trained.
You can get additional information on the grants and programs here: APPRENTICE
We want to help!
In closing, we want to help. As stated above, if you already have a program or want to let others know you are accepting apprentices, let us know and we will share across our media channels. Just email us at email@example.com and put APPRENTICE in the subject line. We will help you get the word out.
Have a great week!
Mr & Mrs. QuickTrick