Shifting to Virtual Apprenticeship Structures

The majority of employers that provided us with their input are considering making their programs remote or have already made them remote, and 60% of the apprenticeship intermediaries we connected with are considering the introduction or expansion of remote work or training in their apprenticeship program. 

60%The majority of employers who provided us with their input are considering making their programs remote or have already made them remote. Sixty percent of the apprenticeship intermediaries we connected with are considering the introduction or expansion of remote work or training in their apprenticeship program.

Remote apprenticeship programs can offer opportunities to attract and retain talent with disabilities who may work more effectively from home and/or have better access to accommodations from a remote space. According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), telework is among the most frequently requested accommodations from workers with disabilities. Yet, employers don’t always have the tools they need to ensure their programs will be accessible in a remote environment. According to the apprenticeship intermediaries that provided us with their input, a primary barrier to employers’ willingness to hire candidates with disabilities is a lack of access to accessible technologies; employers with existing apprenticeship programs listed access to accessible remote tools and training as a way to make their transition to a virtual environment easier to navigate. 

According to Apprenti, employers can adopt several key approaches to mitigate barriers to successfully transitioning a program into a virtual environment. For instance, leaders of apprenticeship programs can establish telework policies, outline management strategies to effectively support apprentices with disabilities in remote environments, and enable employees to design workspaces that are conducive to their physical, mental, and emotional needs.

person readingReview PEAT’s Telework and Accessibility Toolkit for more information on how to ensure the virtual workplace is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.