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Return on Investment

 There are costs associated with training any new employee.  An apprentice is no different.  As you consider establishing a SHRM Foundation Human Resource Registered Apprenticeship Program (HR RAP), look at the returns that come to you from using the program.  First and foremost, the HR RAP develops a highly skilled employee trained to your specifications to meet your business needs. In addition, apprenticeship programs have been shown to reduce turnover rates, increase productivity and lower the cost of recruitment. In summary, they provide:

  • A customized, systematic approach to training that ensures employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for an HR professional
  • Increased knowledge transfer through on-the-job learning from an experienced mentor, combined with education courses to support work-based learning
  • Enhanced employee retention: 91% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship are still employed nine months later

The costs of establishing the program are minimized because the on-the-job learning and coursework are defined by the HR RAP standards. The SHRM Foundation will provide materials and training to help set up, manage and report the progress of the program.

The costs of operating the program include the salary for the apprentice, the educational component that can be provided by SHRM’s preferred educational partner or another accredited institution, and the time of the internal trainer/supervisor/mentor who will be allocated to the apprentice.

Offsetting some of these costs is the potential salary differential for an apprentice. Apprentices are required to receive merit increases over the term of the apprenticeship, but they are still learning the HR Specialist role and therefore can be paid less initially. In addition, apprenticeship programs tend to have a good return on investment. In fact, in the Canadian construction industry, each dollar that an employer invests in apprenticeship has a return of up to $1.47. 

Businesses may qualify for state tax credits available for apprenticeship program sponsors. Workforce systems and other community partners may also choose to contribute funding for training, supplies or other aspects of apprenticeship programs. These benefits reduce an employer’s investment in apprenticeship training costs.

A variety of federal resources also can help to fund apprenticeship training. Some of these include Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study Funds, the GI Bill for veteran customers, and others. Review the Federal Resources Playbook for details and additional sources.

The SHRM Foundation will work with employers to find additional information on these funding opportunities.