In a recent opinion column in The Hill, Deborah Kobes, interim vice president of JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning, called on federal policymakers to make a concerted effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nation’s Registered Apprenticeship system.
“The inclusive promise of Registered Apprenticeships has been hindered by a piecemeal approach to engaging with and encouraging employers to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in their programs,” she wrote. “A growing number of individual companies are pledging to use their Registered Apprenticeships programs as a tool for supporting DEIA in the workforce. But we can’t build an equitable apprenticeship system one company at a time. Indeed, this retail-like approach is not going to create the system-level transformation needed any time soon. Instead, policymakers must craft policies that mobilize employers to change their practices and support them in making these necessary changes.”
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion should be baseline expectations for Registered Apprenticeships.”