The Apprenticeship Report: February 2023

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6 ways IT apprenticeships are the right idea for today’s economic climate

Lonnie Emard,

ACDS Apprenticeship Director

IN RECESSIONARY PERIODS, company leaders often react quickly to cut costs in labor and training. When businesses need to do more with less is when IT apprenticeships become all the more attractive and important. Here are 6 ways that IT and cybersecurity apprenticeships can help any company stay competitive in belt-tightening times.

1. Leverage: Even though economic conditions may put a hold on company growth, that’s the absolute worst time for IT and cyber leadership to abdicate responsibilities for supporting their customers, both internal and external. Just as we saw during the Pandemic, technology can, in many cases, provide leverage against reduced staffing or the need to reach customers in new and more efficient ways.

2. Savings: Cost-conscious times are ideal for bringing on Registered Apprentices, each of whom represents an average of some $10,000 in cost savings to our employer partners. This conservative estimate is based on ACDS’ providing no-cost access to numerous candidates, paying for training of apprentices, and project-managing the implementation of the apprenticeship. When costs are constrained, apprenticeships can serve as a smart supplement to an otherwise static budget that still may require adding skills to the IT organization.

3. Upskilling: Apprenticeships can be used to advance/promote employees from within the company at a significant cost savings compared to the process of searching the market to hire the perfect external candidate. Working closely with our grantors, such as the Office of Skills Development, ACDS provides the funding to cover the cost of upskilling your present employees as they move into new and more advanced roles.

4. Diversity: The mere fact that ACDS offers the supplemental staffing option as part of the apprenticeship end-to-end model means that we provide access for company recruiters to reach a very diverse pool of potential Arkansas workers. This kind of diversity adds a dimension of longer-term value to most companies across every sector.

5. Project management: ACDS’ role as an intermediary to project manage the apprenticeship implementations for each company is yet another cost savings for our employer partners. Executing an innovative program within a company is a big project, and when employers realize that ACDS provides this project-management service at no cost, it’s just one more reason for IT and cyber organizations to stay strong.

6. Flexibility: When the business climate is unpredictable or in recession, it increases the need to have an existing workforce that’s flexible enough to work smarter and more innovatively, using technology for its efficiency and cost effectiveness. ACDS has assisted many Arkansas employers with succession planning and job redesign. Time and again, the apprenticeship model has proven to be the answer, working in conjunction with HR, training, and employee-development programs.

Bottom line: No matter the economic climate, ACDS is designed to support Arkansas businesses by providing innovative solutions to some of the difficult technology talent issues that plague our country today. The programs that we’ve implemented continue to assist businesses of all sizes, all across our state, as they employ a steady use of technology skills to thrive in good times and bad.

Call us—let us know how we can help you succeed in 2023.