Below are questions captured that were unable to be answered due to time constraints. They have been answered by a panel of experts to provide clarity and understanding. If you have follow up questions, please reach out to an Indy Chamber staff member.
When this concept is practically applied to the workplace, how is the day to day of the apprentice managed? How do you manage risk of age of apprentices (liability on a construction site, confidentiality)?
This can vary across industry and roles, but a work and training plan is created that aligns with the job description to provide a road map to the supervisors. EmployIndy provides intentional support to the supervisors through initial and ongoing supervisor training to share best practices. Additionally, each apprentice is assigned a youth apprenticeship manager who provides regular check-ins with the supervisors to make sure everything is going smoothly.
In our local work-based learning initiative with our school system, we often hear feedback that many companies (typically larger employers) do not allow individuals under the age of 18 “on the floor” due to insurance reasons. How do the Swiss overcome this limitation or does it not exits for them?
In the Swiss system, apprentices are hired as employees at the company with a specialized apprenticeship contract that covers all of the liability, confidentiality, and other issues normally agreed upon between employers and employees. In specific occupations like healthcare where confidentiality is especially important, employers will design apprentices’ rotations so they aren’t doing the most sensitive tasks until they’re a bit older. In occupations where the danger or liability is highest, some employers make sure apprentices have enough training to be safe before they step onto the factory floor or site. You’ll see examples of this with libs, Apprentas, and others on the LEX trip.
Is student progression in Switzerland seated based or competency based? What is their system of determining skills mastery as compared to the US?
Swiss VET has moved to a competency-based system over the last two decades. Every occupation has its own process for determining mastery decided upon by employers and educators together to match what’s appropriate for that occupation. All VET students will have a summative final exam at the end of the apprenticeship that includes a theoretical part (usually in-school exams) and a practical part (often a task, project, oral exam, portfolio, or combination thereof). Because the program is competency-based, people can also follow non-traditional routes to qualification. For example, the WayUp program serves graduates from academic high school who realized they don’t want to go to university and want to do VET instead. These students can usually skip most of the general content, so they have a shorter mostly-work-based path to qualification.
We have so many fabulous universities in Indiana. What percentage have bought into this approach and the opportunity it would create for them?
A variety of universities are engaged in this work including Ivy Tech, Purdue, and Butler University. We hope to continue engaging universities to figure out how credit from high school academic coursework and applied coursework from the apprenticeship can translate to an academic degree program.
In the US, many 18-22 year old students will vacillate between majors in college that they never end up applying from a career standpoint. If kids were instead committing to a trade path at 16, what happens when they decide in 4 years that it’s not the right career for them?
This is a reality across the workforce for most young adults in this age group. 73% of MAP apprentices have continued with their employment post-graduation from high school. A survey of Indiana employees found that 94% indicated that they would have stayed with a former employer longer if they felt invested in. Qualitative data from the apprentices would suggest that the investment made by employers in their professional development and training as well as the mentorship and opportunities they receive during their experience contribute to their desire to stay with their employer and their apprenticeships. As with all employees, an apprentice’s interests may change as they are exposed to a wider variety of roles during their tenure, and employers improve retention by providing new opportunities for advancement and/or variety of roles.