Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Is it time to start using the apprentice model?

Americans needs jobs, companies need workers. What's the problem?  The Wall Street Journal reported today that American companies are shortchanged by an educational system that is dysfunctional and doesn't mesh too well with the economy:

American employers struggling to find enough qualified industrial workers are turning to Germany for a solution to plug the U.S. skills gap: vocational training.
Two million U.S. manufacturing jobs will remain vacant over the next decade due to a shortage of trained workers, according to an analysis by the Manufacturing Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group affiliated with the National Association of Manufacturers, and professional-services firm Deloitte LLP.

While the Obama administration has invested millions of dollars to promote skills-based training, it remains a tough sell in a country where four-year university degrees are seen as the more viable path to good-paying jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said two-thirds of high school graduates who enrolled in college in 2015 opted for four-year degrees.

“You always hear apprenticeship is for losers, it’s a dead-end road,” said Mario Kratsch, skills initiative director at the Illinois Consortium for Advanced Technical Training, or ICATT, a Chicago-based apprenticeship group that cooperates with the German-American Chamber of Commerce and is trying to replicate the German model in the U.S. In Germany, roughly half of high-school graduates opt for high-octane apprenticeships rather than college degrees. One draw: almost certain employment.
German apprentices spend between three and four days a week training at a company and between one and two days at a public vocational school. The company pays wages and tuition. After three years, apprentices take exams to receive nationally recognized certificates in their occupation. Many continue working full time at the company.

The Labor Department said 87% of apprentices in the U.S. are employed after completing their training programs. Workers who complete apprenticeships earn $50,000 annually on average, or higher than the median U.S. annual wage of $44,720. A 2012 study from Mathematica Policy Research found workers who complete apprenticeships make as much as $300,000 more than non-apprenticeship participants over the course of their careers..... Rest of article

What about Siemens? What about Siemens.  Read on:

Siemens launched an apprenticeship program at its Charlotte factory in 2011. The company partnered with a local community college to offer vocational courses in combination with on-the-job training on the shop floor. Apprentices learn skills required in advanced manufacturing and graduate with an associate degree combining disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math.

Siemens said it recruited applicants from local high schools. The company spends around $180,000 per student to pay for tuition, books and wages during the four-year program. Ten of the 11 apprentices who completed the program still work at the company. Siemens expanded it to Fort Payne, Ala., Sacramento and Atlanta.

Operating actual apprenticeship programs instead of paying the vig on shakedowns, oops, make that paying for "mentoring" to mentoring unqualified and untrained companies.

Question for the day: Is this trend recognized by MDA and MDE and what exactly are they doing about it?  It is also important to remember that Germany has a two-track educational system.  Would that fly here in America?


Anonymous said...

There used to be apprentice jobs available in many different jobs. Worked pretty well. Apprentice were given tests to see if they were inclined toward a given job and had to fill out applications.
The trend today is to hire people for who they are instead of their skills and work ethic. Many companies will hire such individuals them hire out side contractors to come in and do the job their people cannot and will not do.

Anonymous said...

Cheveron and Southern Company have invested in MGCCC. Three programs are thriving down on the coast. Process Operations, Instrumentation and Controls, Electronics Tech.

Ingalls has also invested in MGCCC. Welding, Pipefitting, Drafting and Design, Electronics, all programs were there is a partnership in curriculum and job placement.

Singing River has also invested in simulation for nursing (ADN, RN, LPN,)and radiology.

Anonymous said...

Vocational training programs in high school and JC are uber valuable. Welders can make a good salary. Transportation mechanics (RRs and Airlines) kill it. All without a college degree.

Anonymous said...

10:11- damn. don't know how all the mega companies are able to determine "who" people are whenever they have to fill jobs at all levels. You sound like someone that has been turned down for too many jobs or promotions that you felt yourself qualified for but nobody else agreed with your self-determined abilities. We all know that companies don't care about maximizing profits - they would much rather hire someone to sit in a chair while having to pay again to contract the work out to someone else, all to satisfy the 'who they are' requirement that you have so perfectly identified.

Go back to work playing solitaire on your computer. Maybe one of these days you will 'become someone' so you can get hired.

Anonymous said...

College isn't for everyone and there should be no shame in that. For too long it has been drilled into kids that you HAVE to go to college. It's great for the companies making money hand over fist on student loans, but not for the graduates that finish their liberal arts degree to get into the job market making peanuts.

Anonymous said...

@10:11 "they would much rather hire someone to sit in a chair while having to pay again to contract the work out to someone else, all to satisfy the 'who they are' requirement that you have so perfectly identified."

That's state government to a T

Anonymous said...

Might be state government, 10:44, but the comment was a quote from 10:11 who was saying that private businesses would do that. Spending 'other folks money' is a whole lot different than spending 'my money'.

Anonymous said...

Vocational Training at the Junior and Community College level has been working fairly well in this state for at least 45 years. One problem is that manufacturing firms have managers who want instant gratification, an employee RIGHT DAMNED NOW who can operate the computer driven machinery or complex design technology programs sent down from the headquarters up north.

I can remember partnering up with Hinds and Bechtel and MP&L (prior to Entergy) when Grand Gulf was being built. Classrooms were built, people were taught basics, even basic math, the funding was there, the plans were in place, it seemed to work and hell, that was 1973 or 74.

Nobody wants to partner up with a program that takes two to four year. But, those programs are out there. Ask Hinds or Holmes.

Now we push kids into college and give them grants and pay them, in effect, to hang out on campus for 5 to 7 years and then saddle them with student loans or unmarketable degrees.

Anonymous said...

Government, not for profit, and larger businesses have the habit of hiring people for who they are and who they know then turning around and hiring another person to do their job. Very common as they are not using their own money. Small business usually cannot afford to do this unless it is their family they are hiring.

Anonymous said...

College is not preparing the majority of the students for the real world. Look at the statistics of who gets a job in their field of study, and the percent of those who start and actually complete college. Colleges and Universities have turned into fat organizations that feed off student failure by getting them to stay in school longer. Then when they get out, less than 25% of those who started actually get a job in their desired field and retain that job for greater than 10 years. Juco system is good for a large majority. In fact, Mississippi should flip it's funding. Send the majority of it's funding to Juco and cut back IHL. If schools can build big stadiums and pay coaches millions, why do they need state money. People need to know how to work and provide for themselves, and not "how to draw a salary". There is a big difference and the majority of kids today are not learning that.

Anonymous said...

The goal of college professors and administrative staff is to keep the student in college (and higher degree programs) for as long as possible with very little, if any, thought as to whether they might find employment upon graduation.

Anonymous said...

Back to the Middle Ages?

1:08 hits part of the problem. Employers don't want to train, and they don't want to pay what the job is worth. So they wail about how there's no one out there to hire.

In a free market, what do you do when you can't find employees? You raise wages. Works like magic.

But when CEOs rule that out, what do you do? You wail and gripe and inspire stupid articles about "apprenticeships."

(This btw is why "immigrants will do jobs Americans won't." Hafta add the words "at those wages." Employees whom you don't pay benefits & whom you can terrorize with the fear of deportation are easily exploited.)

Up next in the WSJ: "Indentured Servitude: The Answer to America's Flagging Economy."

Recruit This.. said...

"Employees whom you don't pay benefits & whom you can terrorize with the fear of deportation are easily exploited."

Where, other than jobs like landscaping, roofing and construction are those sorts of jobs? I believe the article is about training and job opportunities in the industrial sector. I know of ZERO jobs in the industrial sector that do not offer benefits.

Anonymous said...

Our junior and community colleges have partnered well with industry to train for skilled jobs particularly in the construction industry.

Unfortunately, because of abuse of Pell grants, at one time, the junior and community colleges were also training more welders and LPNs per year than there were jobs available in Mississippi. For LPNs , I remember there were 1500 students graduating and competing for 500 jobs one year and no welder jobs were available for students in that program.

The two year nursing students were getting hired. Sadly, these jobs were at the expense of 4 year RN programs as two year nurses were paid less.

I don't have current statistics, but I advocated then and now, that students be informed of any program's record of success in job placement and recruitment. It is important to advise students if they will have to relocate to find a job and where those jobs are in demand. It's important for students to know what percentage graduate from the programs offered. These figures were and still are easy for the institution to provide.

I think it should be required of any junior or community college, college or university that receives local, federal or state funds.

If we do that, it makes our educational programs work harder to offer programs that industry and profession highly regard. Students will go into a program knowing how hard they will have to work to be employable.

You can't make good decisions without good information. Our tax dollars shouldn't be supporting education that is limited to profiting the institution or program but support education for future economic growth and a better educated citizenry.

It should be illegal to call a business a " University" unless it meets the criteria for accreditation as a university.

But, in a society that is penny wise and dollar foolish, too many of our citizens have fallen for idea the end justifies the means when it comes to money. It no longer matters how you profited, only that you did.

Anonymous said...

3:53, many businesses are now hiring several part time employees instead of one full time employee. Part time employees do not get benefits.
There are a few businesses who employee convicts on work release programs. These convicts do not receive benefits.
Many businesses use the day labor programs. These people do not receive benefits.

Most of these businesses do not advertise the fact they are not hiring full time employees with benefits.

Anonymous said...

8:35 - Please identify a community college that partners with employers to train people for the construction industry. Having worked in partner-relationships with CCs for forty years, I know of no training for carpenters, roofers, tackers, grass-sodders, window installers, concrete finishers or laborers.

It's been many years since carpentry, masonry and concrete work were available at any community college, probably thirty years.

The CC system has always had in place safeguards and committee review programs to ensure that the training offered is in line with available opportunities, although sometimes it takes most of a year for that flaw to catch up and for them to discontinue a course.

On another note: These people who keep yapping about 'some businesses hiring illegals to avoid benefits, etc' need to name some of those industries. Forget naming them specifically, just name them by type. Other than construction, landscape, laborer, roofing, laying tile, etc, you can name NONE. Those are the businesses who can pick up their day workers at Home Depot or the Mobile Home Emporium up in Canton.

Anonymous said...

12:03; Nothing was said about part time jobs when the claim was made that illegals are hired to avoid paying benefits.

The people who involve themselves (as workers) in what you call 'day labor programs' are not employees. Please discuss apples when the subject is apples. No industry in Mississippi (other than those cited) employs illegal aliens knowingly. And don't forget that Mississippi now requires E-verification.

The claim that employers are hiring illegals, as regular employees, to avoid paying benefits and to pay low wages is bull shit.

By the way, the minimum wage in Mexico is $4.25 per DAY. That's about 50cents per hour (or less). And Hillary (who advocates a $15.00 per HOUR minimum) decries the fact that all these selfish corporations ship their jobs there?

Anonymous said...

4:45, any person who does a job for another person for pay is an employee of that person. Doesn't matter if it is for a day or a year.

There have been several different businesses in Ms. busted for hiring illegals. Howard Industry is one and there are several more. That is the ones that got caught and convicted. They were not the only ones.

It is time you listened to the news every once in a while. They will give you more information on such things. Try it sometimes.

Anonymous said...

9:46; I've been around the employment block a time or two. Of course 'several' companies have been caught and fined for violations. Howard Industries was how many years ago? Five? It's rare if ever now among corporations, businesses employing over 25 people. Industries other than those identified above.

And you are wrong if you think 'anybody who does a job for another person for pay is an employee of that person'. That's far from the truth. Do you know what an independent contractor is? Do you know what a day laborer is? Do you know what a temp contract employee is? None of those are employees of the business where the work is done. Do you know what a 1099 is? Do you know what E-Verify means, how it works, what it requires? Your problem may be that you get your knowledge from 'listening to the news'. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

10:07, yes I do know about the things you listed. I also have common sense. I gave you one name of a business that had been busted for hiring illegals. It isn't the only business that has been busted.

E-Verify is a joke. Have you ever tried to use it?

You must own or work at a company that uses any method they can to side step paying benefits to their employees. Most likely a janitor that stands around a little to much listening to others talk.

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