A look at Accenture’s North America Apprenticeship Program
After successfully launching in 2016, the program is looking to help the entire region benefit from the apprenticeship model.
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In 2016, Accenture set out to do something that would make a meaningful and lasting impact.
From that desire came the Accenture North America apprenticeship program, which was launched to give underserved individuals greater access to digital economy jobs, while simultaneously creating new career pathways for talent who haven’t had the opportunity to work in the tech industry.
Since its launch, the company has brought on more than 1,200 apprentices in over 35 cities across the continent.
“When we thought about the roles that Accenture was looking to fill, we actually went broad,” said Jordan Rambo, Philadelphia office managing director at Accenture.
Apprentices have filled a variety of roles from cybersecurity to data analytics, cloud migration and many more. As the years have gone on, the program has expanded even further.
The apprenticeship model has paid huge dividends for both employers and the apprentices themselves.
Using a learn-and-earn model, apprentices receive 12 months of formal learning, on-the-job training, and coaching to help them build their skills and advance their careers.
“It’s been an amazing journey, seeing people grow from the time they come in,” said Brinda Rajaraman, managing director at Accenture. “We upskill them, help them evolve, and during the 12-month period, we provide lots of mentorship and coaching because we don’t want people to just come in.”
This then provides the apprentices with a pathway to a full-time role with Accenture after the 12-month-long apprenticeship ends, if possible.
Rajaraman noted that just about every single apprentice has graduated from the program since it launched, and a majority have taken full-time employment opportunities with Accenture.
To build on the success of the apprenticeship program, Accenture and Aon joined forces to co-found the Philadelphia Apprentice Network — modeled after the Chicago Apprentice Network.
Through this network, more organizations in the region will have the opportunity to take part in the apprenticeship program.
Marc Armstrong, managing principal at Aon, praised just how much value apprentices have on employers and organizations in finding diverse talent.
“It’s a great business model,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
In 2021 alone, Accenture brought on 575 apprentices.
Within the Philadelphia Apprenticeship Network, the goal is to reach 500 apprentices by the year 2025.
As part of the company’s commitment to growing and scaling its professional apprentices, Accenture announced a goal to fill 20% of its entry-level roles from its apprentice program in fiscal year 2022, which ends on August 31.
“We are actively pursuing that… we’re very committed to the work,” said Rambo. “We’ve seen it with the talented individuals that we brought on, we’ve seen the increased diversity of our workforce.”
He added that the importance of diversity — not only in representation, but also diversity of thought — cannot be overstated, and is critically important for Accenture as a professional organization.
“We’re trying to create an environment where [everyone] can aspire to be what they see,” he added.