We expect to see a huge range of innovations to support remote learning. We also think [COVID-19] will permanently change the digital footprint of apprenticeships.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted apprenticeships across the country, and many apprenticeship providers are beginning to look into remote and virtual models as programs involving in-person classroom instruction and on-the-job training get put on hold.
In a June 9 article, Inside Higher Ed explored the feasibility of remote work-based learning programs and turned to JFF experts Stephen Yadzinski and Eric Seleznow for insights.
Yadzinski, the acting general manager of JFFLabs, noted that work-based learning programs in manufacturing and the skilled trades had already begun to use virtual reality (VR) technology to support remote training.
“We expect to see a huge range of innovations to support remote learning,” he told Inside Higher Ed. “We also think this will permanently change the digital footprint of apprenticeships.”
However, apprenticeships must meet certain U.S. Department of Labor guidelines to qualify as Registered Apprenticeships, and Seleznow, a senior adviser and director of JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning, said it’s not clear whether employers or the DOL would be in favor of completely virtual apprenticeships.
Noting that employers benefit from in-person apprenticeships because apprentices do productive work while pursuing on-the-job training, he said “I don’t know whether companies see the value of paying someone $15 per hour without production on the job.”