Benefits of Being an HR RAP Apprentice

An apprenticeship is an alternative route to entering a career using a training method that has been in the United States for hundreds of years. Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere were apprentices.  In 1937, Congress enacted the National Apprenticeship Act, establishing the program as it is today.  Originally thought to be appropriate for manufacturing, construction and utilities, apprenticeship became more common for additional careers such as firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and other health and safety workers after World War II.

Over the last decade, as more employers have found that they need a better way to train people to take on available jobs, the apprenticeship model was rediscovered.  Between 2009 and 2019, the number of apprentices increased by 128%.

Graphic showing apprenticeship programs growth between 2009 and 2019

Source: US Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration / Registered Apprenticeship National Results Fiscal Year 2019

With this kind of growth, something good must be happening!  Employers and apprentices are recognizing that the apprenticeship model provides many benefitsand the SHRM Foundation’s Human Resource Registered Apprenticeship Program (HR RAP) follows in that tradition.

You will start your career on the first day of your apprenticeship.  “Learn and earn” means you are being paid to learn the skills and responsibilities of being an HR Specialist while on the job.  You will be an employee of the company that is guiding you through the training program.

You will be taking classes in courses directly related to your job.  You can apply the lessons you learn in your coursework, making it easier to retain the knowledge.  And because the courses are part of your apprenticeship, there is no cost to you.  No student loan debt to worry about.

You will develop the skills needed to manage in a work environment.  With the help of an experienced mentor, you will learn and demonstrate employability skills that are critical for long-term career success.  This trusted advisor will also be able to coach you on career planning and how to position yourself for networking opportunities.

You will also have the support of SHRM. SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. All HR RAP apprentices will be members of SHRM while they are in the program so that you can take advantage of SHRM resources to help you perform you day-to-day role, forge your career path, and build a network of global and local connections.  The credential you are preparing forthe SHRM-CPis a nationally recognized credential that is often a gateway to other positions or companies. 

For a quick recap, view this video from the PA Department of Employment