Yesterday Jeremy highlighted the design lessons that Gordan Ramsay uses in his TV show. It sparked another celebrity thought. Donald Trump made a hit show out of the concept of apprenticeship, but if it's such a great way to learn a trade, where are all the job postings for an apprentice? Don't expect to see them any time soon.
With trade jobs moving into Asia, Americans have repositioned themselves around the information industry. Trade jobs are losing their luster and with that comes a loss of opportunities; learning a craft is now more of a hobby. Skilled jobs aren't gone, but apprenticeships are simply not used as much to get new hires into an industry. Interestingly, design sits on the edge between trade and information workers.
One of the biggest barriers to apprenticeships is that GenY wants results and responsibility now, two years and hours of learning down the road. GenY has a leg up on many seasoned veterans when it comes to computer and programming skills, but the lack of experience will not grow an industry. Companies seemed to be going along with the general market but, sadly, there is a huge hole in designers' critical thinking skills.
Adding to the problem, workers have lost faith in companies. Companies used to play a greater role in the well being of their employee's lives, but these days employees no longer look to companies as foundations of their success. In return, companies have stopped playing an integral role in providing on the job training and apprenticeships have all but disappeared in most trades.
So where do we go with skilled training? At ZURB we've taken a hybrid approach to developing talent. We like to say you get payed to learn. While we don't have an apprenticeship program, the first two years of work here are a mixture of continuous feedback and individual trail blazing. It makes for a lively environment, and pushes employees to improve their skills with each other. It's contagious.
Apprenticeships will disappear, but companies that evolve will to figure out how to build a learning workforce.
Leading the charge at ZURB since 1998