The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced $87.5 million in grants to expand registered apprenticeships, with $40 million of that funding to be awarded to states that “implement required diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and demonstrate their commitment to adopt, expand and promote these efforts.”
We’ve rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.
Diversity in Apprenticeship
The department’s goal is to support states in building apprenticeship programs that are diverse and aligned with current workforce needs. The announcement specifically noted increasing the number of “underrepresented populations” taking part in registered apprenticeship programs.
Applicants for the funds must propose innovative strategies to support efforts to expand and modernize apprenticeship, particularly around program development and recruitment strategies.
House Approves Apprenticeship Overhaul
President Joe Biden supports the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021, which would invest billions of dollars in the DOL’s registered apprenticeship system, codify standards and expand the work-based learning model to new communities and industries. It passed the House of Representatives Feb. 5 and awaits introduction in the Senate.
Employer-Led Apprenticeships Stopped
President Biden announced in February that he was discontinuing one of the Trump administration’s top workforce development initiatives—industry-recognized apprenticeship programs. Over 130 programs had been created so far, mostly for nursing credentials.
SHRM Foundation Creates HR Apprenticeship Program
The SHRM Foundation in February announced an apprenticeship program to help employers develop HR specialists at their organizations. The Foundation recognized Hypertherm as the first employer to participate in the HR Registered Apprenticeship Program.
COVID-19 Changes Apprenticeships
Travel restrictions and social-distancing mandates prompted by COVID-19 led organizations to rethink their approach to apprenticeships, which typically involve hands-on, in-person participation.