Tech companies are facing a significant skill gap in the U.S. workforce. With unemployment at historical lows and job openings far outpacing the number of unemployed people, businesses are scrambling to attract, hire, and retain much-needed talent. While the situation is complex and fast-moving, many forward-thinking companies are looking to apprenticeships as a means of upskilling available workers for today’s tech industry.
Previously the domain of trades, apprenticeships in technology have been gaining traction as a means of equipping talented workers with the knowledge and skills to succeed in tech-related jobs. Accenture Federal Services, the public sector arm of the global professional services and consulting firm, is launching an apprenticeship and apprenticeship-in-training program in the St. Louis, Missouri region to re-think the way technology skills are taught.
“Accenture Federal Services is proud to announce this next phase of our investment in St. Louis to train and hire exceptional talent and deliver mission-critical work at the heart of the country’s national priorities,” said AFS CEO John Goodman. “With this ribbon-cutting to officially open the ATC Center and launch our St. Louis apprenticeship program, AFS is expanding access to digital economy jobs for diverse constituencies, including underserved communities, early career and second career people, veterans, and military spouses.”
The new one-year, salaried apprenticeship program provides opportunities for community college graduates, veterans, and others to experience on-the-job training, professional development and learning, and potential job placement with AFS. The 12-week apprenticeship-in-training program will offer a pathway into the apprenticeship program, enabling trainees to earn a wage while gaining hands-on workforce experience.
Apprenticeships are a demonstrated way of improving inclusion and equity in the tech sector, where multiple financial and circumstantial barriers can deprive capable workers of opportunities to work in a fast-growing industry. With an estimated 500,000 tech job openings in the U.S. annually and fewer than 70,000 students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in computer science per year, the need for nontraditional pathways into tech jobs has never been greater.
By making technology jobs more accessible to diverse communities, Accenture’s program will help the St. Louis area workforce gain valuable experience and marketable skills in addition to well-paying jobs, diversifying the workforce and helping lift families out of poverty.