California invests more than $230 million in talent development

Learn about the state's five-point action plan

California invests more than $230 million in talent development

The California government has invested more than $231 million to “advance and expand apprenticeship” via the 2022-2023 state budget, according to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai said the apprenticeship is fundamental to addressing California’s workforce development needs. “With this new intentional funding and our roadmap for expansion, the State is creating equitable onramps to careers and opportunities for upward mobility for Californians,” Palugyai said in a media release.

Five-Point Action Plan

Following the investment, the DIR, Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency have released an “Advancing Apprenticeship in California: A Five-Point Action Plan” with the aim to increase the state’s number of apprentices to half a million by 2029.

Read more: Symba CEO: Retain talent through workforce development programs

“Though the challenge of serving 500,000 Californian apprentices by 2029 is unprecedented, existing policies provide a solid foundation for further work to support this ambition,” DIR said.

According to the DIR, the five-point action plan sets up the structure and strategies to attain the ambitious goal through new and revised policies.

“These include refining state policies and processes in many different sectors, addressing gender imbalance in the building trades, and creating more opportunities for youth through apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs,” the DIR said.

Additionally, according to the department, the plan’s five points include:

•          Supporting regional and sectoral apprenticeship intermediaries

•          Creating new apprenticeships outside of the traditional trades

•          Improving gender representation in the trades

•          Supporting youth apprenticeship for in-school and out-of-school youth

•          Building pathways into the public sector

According to DIR Director Katie Hagen, the plan was a collaborative effort through discussions and engagements with employers, educators, labor, and community groups. 

“This funding will help lay the groundwork for a major expansion of the apprenticeship model, which allows workers to earn as they learn on the job,” Hagen said. 

Budget allocation          

According to the DIR, the 2022-2023 budget invests more than $231 million in apprenticeship-related matters this year and more than $480 million in the next three years. 

Moreover, the government said that the new funding also consists of $175 million to create apprenticeship innovation funding for non-traditional programs and $65 million to produce a youth apprenticeship grant program. 

The new funding also includes $15 million to fund a unit that works to advance women in construction and an increase of over 30% to the reimbursement rate for training in building and construction apprenticeships, based on the DIR. 

According to the DIR, the government’s decision to invest significantly in apprenticeships comes from the proven track record of such a strategy in connecting Californians to good jobs. 

“By supporting regional and sectoral intermediaries, expanding non-traditional apprenticeship opportunities, continuing to diversify traditional apprenticeship programs and engaging young people and government employees in new programs, California’s apprenticeship system can help even more state residents take part in an economy that works for everyone,” the DIR said. 

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