Press Release: CDLE’s Office of the Future of Work Highlights Employer Benefits of Apprenticeship During National Apprenticeship Week

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For Immediate Release | November 15, 2021

In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) will be highlighting how apprenticeships help employers address their skills gaps, future-proof their workforce, and improve their bottom line, serving both the supply and demand sides of the labor market to the benefit of workers, employers, and the economy.

“Millions of workers nationwide are eager to upskill in order to remain competitive in a rapidly changing labor market. At the same time, employers are struggling to find the skilled talent they need to succeed,” said Katherine Keegan, Director of the OFOW. “National Apprenticeship Week gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of the employer benefits of hosting an apprenticeship program and we encourage employers to contact one of our Apprenticeship Consultants, who can help them determine if an apprenticeship program is right for their organization, and, if so, provide a wide range of services at no cost to employers, supporting them before, during, and after a program is launched.”

National Apprenticeship Week, now in its seventh year, comes during the third week of Colorado Apprenticeship Month and follows the recent signing of HB21-1007 which creates a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) in CDLE. The agency, housed in CDLE’s OFOW will serve as the primary point of contact with the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship; accelerate the adoption, promotion, and development of apprenticeship programs; provide support; and be responsible for programs’ compliance with state and federal laws and standards. The SAA will establish a State Apprenticeship Council (SAC) and Interagency Advisory Committee (IAC) to advance the work.

The creation of the SAA reflects an increasing interest in apprenticeships as a way to prepare both workers and employers for the future of work: a report from the U.S. Department of Labor found that, between 2011 and 2020, the number of new apprentices grew by 70 percent nationwide. 

The growing number of apprenticeship programs may also indicate a deeper understanding among employers of the benefits of hosting these programs. According to Brookings, many employers with apprenticeship programs report savings on overtime expenses, increased revenue and productivity, and lower recruitment costs as direct benefits. They also say that apprenticeship programs result in a bevy of indirect benefits as well, including increased innovation, improved morale from mentoring junior staff, lower turnover, less need for supervision, lower error rates, the ability to hire talent with company-specific knowledge, the opportunity to develop future managers, and access to much bigger talent pool.

During Apprenticeship Month, CDLE will be highlighting resources, trainings, and events designed to increase awareness of the benefits of creating, registering, and increasing participation in apprenticeship programs. 

On November 16, the department and its partners will host the annual Apprenticeship Awards, to celebrate Colorado apprentices, mentors, employers, programs, and the partners and champions who unite them. 

Employers interested in learning more about apprenticeship programs can fill out this form to get in touch with an Apprenticeship Consultant.