Interapt, a software development firm, is training the next generation of developers in Louisville, Kentucky. CEO Ankur Gopal said it was difficult to recruit the right people for Interapt because the college graduates that applied for jobs had theoretical knowledge but lacked experience and software development skills.
To address its shortage of skilled workers, Interapt decided to invest in local talent, training Kentucky residents through its registered apprenticeship program called Interapt Skills. Like all quality apprenticeship programs, Interapt Skills blends classroom and on-the-job training. The program leverages widely used technology training modules from General Assembly, embeds apprentices in Interapt projects, and provides in-house mentoring.
Apprentices come from various backgrounds, including workers looking for a career change, veterans, displaced workers, and recent high school and college grads. Interapt Skills has also worked with high schools to incorporate elements of its program into their curricula.
Gopal described program graduates as having a strong work ethic, an appreciation for the opportunity, loyalty to the company, and agile learning abilities. About 90 percent have received raises after 15 months on the job.
Interapt’s experience illustrates a few best practices for starting a youth apprenticeship program: building a plan of advancement so that apprentices have a transparent view of what’s expected over time, providing proper onboarding and exposure to soft skills and fundamentals, compensating apprentices properly, and creating mentorship plans to guide how mentors will be checking in with their apprentices. Partnering with an intermediary can help companies register and start apprenticeship programs.