Gov’s Training Hub

Labor Dept unveils Apprenticeship.gov

On August 30, the Department of Labor unveiled a new facet of its workforce initiative, a digital training hub called Apprenticeship.gov.

Just in time for Labor Day weekend (I hope you all had a good one!), the website is a one-stop resource mainframe compiled by the Labor Department following years of research during both the Obama and Trump administrations. It is designed to aid the transition of workers in training from technical schools, colleges,and even high school to their place in the American workforce. While this framework certainly includes some emphasis on the trades, manufacturing, and other manual skill sets, it also recognizes a changed landscape in which the digital world is prominent.

The site is essentially divided into three portals for employers, workers, and educators.

The employers’ tab opens with a straightforward definition of apprenticeship: “a career pathway that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component, where an individual can obtain workplace-relevant knowledge and skills.” This is followed by a plethora of incentives for employers to start apprenticeship programs, such as building a skilled workforce, bolstering their bottom line, creating flexible training options, minimizing costs, and both tax and employee benefits. Lastly, this section contains a simple verification process for posting your company’s apprenticeship listing(s) on the site.

The workers’ tab—brightly labeled “career-seekers”—is a search engine for apprenticeships. You simply type in your field, desired job, or sector of the workforce, using keywords (i.e. ‘motor technician’, ‘manufacturing’) to quickly reveal a page of results like this one (below, right):

Search fields on this tab can also be organized by zip code or a mileage radius. I found the keywords somewhat broad in their results, but very helpful with some familiarity once you know how to utilize and manipulate them. For example, the word “technician” alone will produce millions of results. Adjust that to “motor technician” and it gets reduced to thousands, but still contains automotive positions. Specify further still to “electric motor technician” and you get down to the hundreds, making it much easier to find what you need. Those familiar with SEO (search engine optimization) will find this routine.

Portal 3: Educators. This section is perhaps the most intriguing of the site, first because it promotes collaboration with the government branch and academic institutions, and secondly because it’s unfinished. A subheading reads: “In the future, we will provide additional tools and resources for education providers and certification bodies, such as the ability to find and connect with credentialing providers and certifiers in your area. Future enhancements are coming, so stay tuned!” This is followed by areas pertaining to career paths, apprenticeship tools, and wage information. It is encouraging to think that the Labor Department sees the value of working en masse with educators across the country, especially if that includes all levels from middle school and high school to technical colleges and private universities.

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