designship tagline: the power of apprenticeship and design
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April 17, 2018

Apprentices Today; Leaders Tomorrow

One of the most rewarding parts of a management-style apprenticeship program like Designship is that it gives apprentices a good start in their careers while giving businesses qualified candidates to groom into leadership positions.

It’s not just work experience, coursework and they’re done – we’re setting companies up with skilled, talented employees who are ready, willing and able to take the next step in their careers to the benefit of themselves, partner companies and the industry as a whole.

Long story short: We’re playing the long game here, and here’s why you should be, too.

Capable Employees Make Capable Leaders

Businesses need workers. Not just any workers, good workers. Workers who know what they’re doing. Whose skillsets align to fill a need in a business’s long-term strategy. Who can develop into the next generation of leadership. Apprenticeships are designed to do exactly that.

While an apprentice uses on-the-job experience to improve skills, a savvy business uses an apprenticeship to develop future managers who have, essentially, been cultivated to meet the future needs of their industry. And, for its part, Designship and its ilk give apprentices the critical skills – like how to lead projects, how to work effectively in teams, what successful client interactions look like – that get them thinking like an intrapreneur.

By filling the employment pipeline with qualified workers today, companies are stocking up on tomorrow’s qualified leaders.

A Flexible Workforce is a Productive Workforce

Apprenticeship programs give companies access to the very best talent while allowing the flexibility in skilled staff to meet their ever-changing needs. Apprentices can take on the many less-involved tasks that often siphon away expertise that could be better employed in more essential roles. As well as give the flexibility to meet demands, which would usually be filled with contract or freelance workers, with someone who may fill a long-term need within a company.

Take, for example, the apprenticeship program at Siemens USA, a manufacturer of energy-efficient and resource-saving technologies. While its North Carolina plant manufactures generators for electric utilities and, when it has capacity after making new product, seeks work repairing older generators – a perfect task for skilled apprentice work. This flexibility allowed Siemens to, essentially, recoup the costs of its apprenticeship program in increased capacity alone.

Employee Engagement Impacts Employee Retention

The Designship program, like all apprenticeship programs, seeks to put employees into careers, not just jobs.

This is important because studies show that, after base pay, career development is the biggest factor in employee retention. Why? Because oddly enough, people don’t like to feel stuck in their jobs. Now more than ever, it’s important to give employees clear paths of advancement and continuous improvement opportunities to keep them loyal, motivated and engaged – the very thing apprenticeships are built on.

This has the benefit of reducing turnover (and thereby reducing recruitment and retraining costs), but, in the course of an employee’s career advancement, helps businesses guide employee development to better meet their long-term needs.

Fresh Faces Give Fresh Perspectives

Apprenticeships are transformative for individuals and businesses alike.

When a company hires an employee, it gains more than just his or her skills. When a company hires an employee, he or she gains access to a literal lifetime of experience, ideas, and approaches. As an apprentice becomes more confident his or her work, takes on more responsibility, becomes more entrenched in a company culture, and, eventually, takes on a position of leadership, these perspectives have even more opportunity to affect change – often for the better – within an organization.