The Good Jobs Challenge: How to Leverage Digital Apprenticeships to Develop Your Workforce

The Good Jobs Challenge: How to Leverage Digital Apprenticeships to Develop Your Workforce

Bottom Line: Digital apprenticeships offer employers a strategic solution to close skill gaps, cultivate a skilled workforce, and build a strong employer brand. They are also key to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, unlocking equitable pathways to the jobs of tomorrow. Read on to learn more about how your organization can leverage digital apprenticeships at zero to little cost through the Good Jobs Challenge.

What Is a Digital Apprenticeship?

A digital apprenticeship is a structured program that combines on-the-job training with formal education to prepare individuals for careers in digital fields such as data science, cybersecurity, and software development.

  • For organizations, apprenticeships offer a strategic solution to bridge the skills gap and cultivate a skilled workforce tailored to their needs, while enhancing their employer brand, attracting top talent, and improving employee retention.
  • For learners, they provide a unique opportunity to acquire skills, gain practical experience through a cost-effective, accelerated path to job readiness.

What is the Good Jobs Challenge? 

The Good Jobs Challenge is a $500 Million initiative under the U.S. Economic Development Administration aimed at creating or enhancing access to high-quality, well-paying jobs. Grants have been given to 32 industry-led workforce training partnerships in 31 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are awarded to projects across 15 industries that are:

  • Powering regional competitiveness and inclusive economic growth
  • Expanding equitable job opportunities across underserved populations and communities 
  • Building worker-centered, employer-led workforce training systems 
  • Integrating diverse, local stakeholders into workforce training partnerships
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Correlation One can help develop a digital apprenticeship using the Good Jobs Challenge to pivot your workers into skilled data and digital roles. Our training equips your workers with essential knowledge and skills within 16 weeks and at zero to little cost.

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How Can Companies Leverage the Good Jobs Challenge? 

Private companies can partner with grantees and training providers to create apprenticeship programs that help bridge the digital skills gap and promote inclusive economic growth. By collaborating with approved industry-led workforce training providers, companies can design and implement apprenticeship programs that offer individuals hands-on experience, mentorship, and equal access to training and employment opportunities, while at the same time meeting critical business needs and creating a diverse and skilled workforce at zero to little cost

Apprenti is a non-profit organization that delivers registered apprenticeship programs to bridge the tech talent and diversity gaps. They create pathways to access tech talent and help organizations address digital skills shortages. Correlation One is an approved Related Technical Instruction provider under the Good Jobs Challenge Grant for digital apprenticeships. As such, Correlation One partners with companies to create customized training and prepare frontline workers for skilled data and digital roles including Data Analyst, Cybersecurity Analyst, IT Business Analyst and more. 

Why It Matters: Understanding the Digital Divide

The need to ensure equitable access to digital resources and skills has never been more urgent than it is today. The rise of automation and artificial intelligence technologies is fundamentally transforming the job market and reshaping the skills required for success. 

One consequence of this transformation is job displacement: while some jobs are augmented, many others are being phased out. According to research by Goldman Sachs, 300 million full-time jobs will be significantly impacted and/or displaced due to generative AI. Vulnerable populations such as older workers, those without advanced education, and marginalized communities often find themselves at greater risk. 

Good Jobs Challenge Statistics

At the same time, there is a widening gap between the skills that employers need and those that the current and emerging workforce possess. This digital skills gap amplifies existing inequalities and affects job-seekers and organizations that struggle to fill roles with qualified candidates. According to one estimate, 76% of IT decision-makers are experiencing critical skills gaps on their teams. Bridging this gap is critical for both individual career growth and organizational success in a data-driven economy.

While the digital economy continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, access to high-quality, well-paying jobs in this sector is not equally distributed. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and others from marginalized communities face significant systemic barriers to accessing these opportunities, including cost and lack of access to networking and mentorship.

To address these challenges and create a more inclusive digital economy, organizations must be ready to seek out and implement innovative solutions. Investing in data and digital skills training and education programs can help bridge the gap and empower individuals to thrive in the ever-changing job market. But focusing solely on skills development isn’t enough; organizations also need to address the underlying barriers that prevent diverse populations from accessing and succeeding in digital careers.

Bridging the Gap: The Case for Digital Apprenticeships

Digital apprenticeships help bridge the digital divide by: 

  • Providing individuals with hands-on experience in real-world digital environments
  • Offering mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals in the industry
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion in digital fields by providing equal access to training and employment opportunities
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Get started today - Correlation One's training solutions can reskill your organization's AI-displaced frontline workers at zero to little cost.

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For learners, apprenticeships offer an opportunity to acquire valuable skills and knowledge while gaining practical experience. Apprentices “earn while they learn,” offsetting the cost of education, and they can often become job-ready in a shorter period compared with traditional educational routes. As a result, apprenticeships can offer more diverse groups of people a pathway into tech industries, helping to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

For organizations, digital apprenticeships provide a solution to the skills gap by creating a pipeline of qualified talent. By investing in apprenticeship programs, companies can train individuals to meet their specific needs and ensure a steady supply of skilled workers. Investing in frontline workers' learning and development not only bridges the digital skills gap but also boosts companies' employer brand by demonstrating their commitment to employee development. This can attract top talent, enhance employee retention, and position the company as an employer of choice in the competitive job market.

Paving the Path to the Jobs of Tomorrow

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the quest for talent and the need for workforce inclusion are not mutually exclusive; rather, they are interdependent parts of a holistic approach to workforce development. Apprenticeships offer an innovative yet practical pathway to confront the urgent issues of skill gaps, job displacement, and inequality. By partnering with Good Jobs Challenge grantees and industry-led workforce training providers, private enterprises can be at the forefront of cultivating digital skills and advancing a culture of equity and inclusion. 

To learn more about Correlation One and our approach to apprenticeships, reach out today