Apprenticeships are a common way for people who are getting started in the construction industry to stick a foot in the door. In fact, according to the DOL, in 2018 there were
active apprentices in construction, the largest amount of apprentices in the U.S. So, for companies and individuals alike, what are the pros and cons of apprenticeships?
Let’s start with the good. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity for the individual to get a glimpse into the day-to-day activities that would be required of them in the future. It allows them to learn and practice crucial skills while building bonds and connections with others in the industry. Essentially, it gives them a head start in succeeding in the industry.
From a corporate perspective, apprenticeships help companies work with people who may be a good fit for a full-time position. Also, in the new economy where workers are pickier about their employers, apprenticeships are great ways for companies to build bonds and solid relationships with potential future employees. The bonds and networking that apprenticeships provide are important in a human-centric industry like construction.
Now, everybody knows that nothing is ever perfect. Apprenticeships may not pay very much to start and consist of a lot of“grunt work” that may not be very enjoyable. Also, apprenticing for a company or under a supervisor who doesn’t care about the individual can be disheartening and discouraging to the apprentice.
For companies, there may be high costs incurred during the registration process and taking on an apprentice who is a bad fit for the company can be frustrating.A crucial component to a successful apprenticeship and apprenticeship program is having the right apprentice.
So, how do you choose the right apprentice? The best place to start in making sure that you understand what makes your current high performers the best. What qualities do they have that make them strong performers? That’s what you should be looking for in apprentices. Next, don’t limit your search to a single pool. Make sure you cast a wide enough net to bring in the best candidates from all areas. And, finally, make sure you test candidates well. Whether that means an interview and a comprehensive standard test, a simulation, and/or another test, the idea is to make sure that the apprentice(s) you choose have the ability and the hunger to learn, and will fit in well with your company.