Ep 177- How to Create a Global Apprenticeship Program

Welcome to a new series on the Workology Podcast we are kicking off that focuses on the future of work. This series is in collaboration with the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology or PEAT.

Apprenticeships provide a real opportunity for employers to train and prepare our workers for our workplaces with transferable skills more quickly than other traditional methods. In Switzerland, 70% of all high school students are in dual educational pathways of their choosing that pair education and on-the-job training, leading them into careers and higher education while earning an income.

A special thank you to our podcast sponsor is ClearCompany

Episode 177: The Future of Work: How to Create a Global Apprenticeship Program with Neil Milliken (@NeilMilliken)

Today I’m joined by Neil Milliken the Global Head of Accessibility & Inclusion at Atos. His role is to help make the world a better place by delivering better technology for their customers and staff, embedding inclusive practice into the Business As Usual Processes of organizations with thousands of employees and turnovers numbering in billions.

The Opportunity

Apprenticeship provides opportunities for all kinds of people to learn skills and trades including people with disabilities and is also an ideal way to quickly fill roles when demand is high for specific skillsets This podcast is part of our Future of Work series in partnership with PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology or PEAT. Neil talks about the UK’s requirements for apprenticeship programs, how they are helping fill Atos’s roles and the way in which they are expanding and scaling their efforts. 

One area of their apprenticeship program is providing soft skills training and experiences. I am hearing a lot of talk from business leaders and HR professionals who are complaining about our younger workforce lacking the skills such as presenting, developing an email, or basic business etiquette on a conference call. Atos’s program provides those within the apprenticeship the learning and guidance to fill these gaps arming them with the right soft skills and abilities. I like this approach as it is proactive. Unfortunately, college, schooling, or other education programs are failing when it comes to soft skills and we, as business leaders, need to step up.

We would like to encourage people with disabilities to apply and want to make sure that we're designing stuff and designing our courses and are on the job learning to be accessible. - @neilmilliken #podcast #accessibility #jobs #work Click To Tweet

Inclusive Work Apprenticeship Programs

Neil and Atos’s work on inclusive apprenticeship programs are a great model to follow. I love the way they customize their programs, focus on technology and soft skill learning. I think we can all agree that these are things that are often missing from new hires today. What a great way to provide training and resources for workers and using that opportunity to create a talent pipeline for positions throughout the organization.

Neil also points out some facts that are I think are important to restate. We are living longer than ever and a growing number of people are not born with disabilities but develop them over time and as they age. These are things to think about when planning accessibility for your workforce and your recruiting and hiring strategies.

Connect with Neil Milliken


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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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