New Company, Franklin Apprenticeships, Aims To Modernize American Apprenticeships

New Company, Franklin Apprenticeships, Aims To Modernize American Apprenticeships

May 31, 2017, Washington DC. –– In an announcement made today,  Franklin Apprenticeships, dedicated to modernizing and organizing an American apprenticeship industry, launches its innovative new company. Aimed at revitalizing an age-old practice to bring hope to America’s 21st century workforce issues, Franklin Apprenticeships wants to invigorate practical, real-life workforce training and development.

Originally announced at the Transatlantic Apprenticeship Exchange Forum in Washington, DC in November 2016, the founders at Franklin Apprenticeships have been engaged in aggressively securing and supporting apprenticeship programs that are set to begin this year. These efforts aim to bridge the skills gaps between employees and employers, as well as workforce development entities that need to attract and retain young workers in their communities.

The first mover in the US marketplace dedicated to fast tracking and growing a new Apprenticeship Movement, the Franklin Apprenticeships consulting and capacity building services are focused on unlocking the potential for America to regain competitive edge in high growth industries. Learn more about Franklin Apprenticeships.

Read the full news release here.

Kim Nichols from Franklin Apprenticeships chats about the USA Apprenticeship system at the Apprenticeship 4 England conference [Video]

Kim Nichols from Franklin Apprenticeships chats about the USA Apprenticeship system at the Apprenticeship 4 England conference [Video]

Last week was National Apprenticeship Week in the UK, where hundreds attended the annual Apprenticeship 4 England conference. Franklin Apprenticeships Founder Kim Nichols was interviewed about the future of the US apprenticeship movement. She shares Franklin Apprenticeships’ plans to invigorate workforce training and development, and bridge the widening skills gap between young adults entering the workforce and companies that have millions of job vacancies.

Q: What is the opportunity in the US for more robust Apprenticeship programs?

A: We see the opportunity to be tremendous in the US. Just compare the growth in apprenticeships between the UK and the US over the last two years. The UK added over a million apprentices. The US added 125,000. So, we think the opportunity is tremendous.

There are opportunities to bring the UK model – not only the content that already exists here that just needs to be massaged for US employers, but also the processes around mentoring, assessments, how to engage employers, and how to recruit and attract apprentices. It’s a similar labor market in the US as to the UK because it is very employer driven. And we think it’s a great match.

Q: How do you think this fits in with the new Administration?

A: We think the apprenticeships fit squarely within the Trump Administration’s plan to grow jobs in the US. He is talking about investing a trillion dollars in infrastructure. That will create a tremendous amount of new jobs. And, all of those workers will need to be trained. Plus, there are other manufacturing jobs and other industries – such as IT – that’s up and coming. With that will come a lot of training that will need to take place. We think Trump should have a “You’re Hired” campaign instead of “You’re Fired” – and yeah, we think it’s a great opportunity.

Q:  What do you consider to be the roadblocks?

A: American society still sees four-year college as a success measure that means you’re going to be sustainable. And, apprenticeships still have a negative connotation to them – it’s for the kids that didn’t get into college and so they’re going to go into an apprenticeship. There’s not an understanding of the occupations that are available, or of the training. There’s definitely a need for branding and awareness around apprenticeships. We have a lot of work to do in that area.

Q:  What does the future hold for apprenticeships in the US?

A: In ten years’ time, we think apprenticeships can be a real solution to the workforce issues in the United States. We’ve got a significant skills gap; millions of jobs that need to be filled. According to Dr. Bob Lerman, who’s an apprenticeship expert and an economist in the US, we should have about 8 million apprentices, so getting to that level would be a tremendous opportunity for our young adults to begin careers without the debt. Earn and learn as they go and increase their salaries and wages as they improve their skills.

Why Benjamin Franklin Is Our Inspiration

Why Benjamin Franklin Is Our Inspiration

We’re proud to associate our company with Benjamin Franklin. He was born in Boston at a time when America was still a British colony. He died as one of the founding fathers of the United States: a nation that came to surpass Great Britain as the world’s most powerful economy little more than a century after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

To achieve what Franklin did in a single human lifetime should be an inspiration to us all.

Like our young company, Ben Franklin drew upon influences and relationships on both sides of the Atlantic. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacture in the early 1770s during one of his many trade and diplomatic missions to London. Tom Bewick, one of our British founders, was made a fellow of the RSA in the early 2000s, for his contribution to industry training and commerce. For some years now, he has been active in supporting America’s apprenticeship expansion effort.

Franklin was a great polymath. He revelled in new discoveries, making important contributions to the early science of electricity. If the Internet had been invented in Franklin’s time, there’s no doubt that he would have been as passionate about the power of computing as modern day Americans like Bill Gates. We think he would have approved of the work of our other British founder, Dominic Gill. He has been responsible for spearheading Microsoft’s apprenticeship program in the UK.

Franklin himself was an apprentice. He received his indenture papers in 1717 in support of his brother’s print works. Like a lot of Franklin’s contemporaries, the future president understood the importance of hard work and the skills of acquiring a trade as a means for self-advancement and national prosperity. He was made an honorary doctor of law and conversed with many renowned academics, but this never got in the way of his practical nature. You could say Franklin epitomized what first gave America its real competitive edge.

Rediscovering that edge is what Franklin Apprenticeships is all about. Our American founder and CEO, Kim Nichols, has taken on that challenge. Like the other founders, she believes in the power of high quality, registered U.S. apprenticeships and is passionate about helping young adults establish successful career pathways.

Apprenticeships never really died out on either side of the Atlantic. Today, they have been transformed into an exciting new pathway for young adults to find rewarding careers. They represent a viable alternative to four-year college without the debt.

Franklin Apprenticeships has the key to these rewarding careers. Our expertise is in the fact that we work with tried and tested models of delivery that result in great work-based and paid apprenticeships. Our apprenticeship model delivers to small and large firms huge improvements in productivity and employee commitment. Some have been rolled out successfully in the U.K. Others are home grown in the United States. We focus on what works.

We’re here to work with you. You could be a major employer looking to take on apprentices but need help in designing the right program. Perhaps you represent a state workforce development agency or an economic development department trying to expand apprenticeship opportunities to build a skilled workforce. Community Colleges are key to America’s renaissance in apprenticeship. Franklin Apprenticeships has the tools to help them rise to the challenge.

If your goals are about trying to rediscover America’s competitive edge, then Franklin Apprenticeships would be delighted to hear from you.


Tom Bewick, Founder

Dominic Gill, Founder

Kim Nichols, Founder & CEO