The Apprenticeship Powered by Industry (API) initiative, a new enterprise supported by U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) funding that aims to expand apprenticeships nationwide, has selected Workcred executive director Roy Swift, Ph.D., to join its API Working Group to provide expertise as a business and thought leader to support its mission. Workcred, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) affiliate, works to educate stakeholders around the country about the value of credentials across industries and organizations.
The goals of the of the API initiative are to gain a better understanding of the level of unregistered apprenticeships in the private sector across the U.S. It will also serve to support the establishment of the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) model (see sidebar, below). Finally, it will aim to accelerate apprenticeship growth by identifying targeted opportunities to scale apprenticeship in key industry sectors through both IRAP and registered apprenticeship programs.
Public policy experts at IMPAQ International, which supports governments, businesses, foundations, non-profits, and universities to evaluate and enhance their programs and policies, partnered with Maher & Maher, a human resource consulting and organizational development company, to launch the API initiative. The first meeting of the API Working Group is set to take place on September 26, 2018, in Washington, DC.
The API Working Group will assist the API team to formulate and execute the API work plan for business adoption and expansion of apprenticeships. It will support the initiative, which will also examine the barriers preventing employers from utilizing apprenticeships and assess what resources are needed to overcome these barriers.
Dr. Swift will volunteer his experience earned as an advocate for the values associated with quality workforce credentialing in the U.S. marketplace. Along with Workcred staff, he frequently speaks throughout the U.S. in support of a competency-driven workforce credentialing ecosystem.
What are Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs?
According to the DOL, these programs are high-quality apprenticeship programs that include a paid-work component, wherein an individual obtains workplace relevant knowledge and skills, with the following components:
- Work-based learning and mentorship
- Education or related instruction
- Industry credential
- Safety and equal employment opportunity
Formed in 2014, Workcred's mission is to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Its vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.