How to Train Employees to Fill Your Skills Gap

Most companies have skills gaps and don’t even know it. Here’s how you design and manage a workplace development plan to train employees with the skills you need.

February 11, 2024

A problem many companies face: they “train” employees yet still have a skills gap. As a result, employee turnover remains high and business success remains lower than it could be. Apprenticeships offer a systemized skills-based way to train employees and ensure they have the skills your company needs.

What is a skills gap?

A skills gap occurs when there’s a mismatch between what skills an employee has and what skills the job needs. Having a skills gap can put your company at a huge disadvantage. In an increasingly competitive hiring market, you’ll need to identify and address skills gaps – not just for employee development and talent retention but also for individual and company performance and growth. 

But filling your skills gap sounds incredibly hard, right? Where would you even start?

How to fill your company’s skills gap

Step one is to figure out the skills your company needs. You can google “skills gap” and find “skills gap analysis” processes. Those are great. The basic premise is to figure out all the skills you need for the roles you want to fill.

Next, you’ll have to figure out what form to deliver those skills to the employee. You can’t guarantee that a college graduate or a certificate holder will have the skills you need.  Your only option to 100% ensure the employee has the skill: hire and train them. 

Extern, intern, or apprenticeship? Apprenticeships are the way to go if you want to fill your skills gap. Apprenticeships provide you with a skills-based structure to train employees and ensure ongoing business success.

With Apprentix, we’ve automated the “figure out the skills you need” step. Simply search for the job you’re trying to hire for and select one of the 52,578 fully-developed apprenticeships we’ve prefilled with skills.

Design the right plan to train employees

Write a skills-based job description

Employee training starts when you’re looking to hire. It starts when your hiring manager sits down to write the job description. A lot of pressure, right?

To ensure you fill your skills gap, you need a job description that lists skills as technical (hard skills), behavioral (soft skills), and technology skills. Each of those three is differentiated by required and preferred skills. 

Apprentix automates writing your apprenticeship job description. Goodbye grueling hours typing the perfect paragraph.

Plan theoretical training through classroom learning

Knowledge is a combination of theory and practice. Classroom learning is a helpful way to provide theoretical knowledge to train employees. When building an apprenticeship to fill your skills gap, you’ll have to map out the classes your employee needs to take to gain the theory and context for those skills. 

It’s a bit unconventional to require classroom training during typical onboarding. Thankfully, apprenticeships require a certain number of classroom training hours for completion.

Plan practical training with On-The-Job learning

You’ll need to figure out what practical training an employee needs to become proficient in each of the skills you’ve defined in the job description. Apprentix automates planning practical training for an apprenticeship.

Add a wage progression schedule to motivate training

For apprenticeships, you’ll also need to determine if you want to track a wage progression. A wage progression means that you plan to bump the apprentice’s pay if they complete something like a course, competency, number of hours, an interim credential, or anything else you determine. It’s a great way to keep everyone motivated and engaged while you train employees.

Post the job description and recruit

Ok, you’re going to have to hire now. Go ahead and post the job description and recruit. 

With an apprenticeship, you can broaden your search by using Apprentix’s database of more than 140 alternative recruiting sources.

Managing your plan to train employees

You’ve created the plan to train employees, let’s get to training. To ensure you fill your skills gap, you’re going to need a management tool. We’ve walked through what apprenticeship technology offers here. 

Apprentix is the only apprenticeship platform that allows you to design and manage apprenticeships from scratch, all in one tool. We provide a streamlined way to train  employees and ensure they have the skills your company needs.

Onboarding employees

Once you've hired an apprentice (or a cohort of them), you can add them to Apprentix to onboard them. You set their start date, and they will receive instructions to get set up in Apprentix and to start on their apprenticeship.

The apprentice will receive notifications and to-dos to submit time, request evaluations for skills they've been learning, will be able to monitor their progress, and have a clear picture of what they need to do. Everything you need to train employees.

Assign managers and mentors

You will need to assign managers and mentors to each apprentice. Managers will be able to review and approve time, submit time on behalf of an apprentice, allocate the time to specific courses or on the job training, review and approve requests for evaluations, review the evidence provided by the apprentice in the evaluation, submit their own evaluations, and monitor the progress of each apprentice, along with have reporting to gain future insights.

Mentors can also review their apprentice’s progress and provide feedback within Apprentix to the apprentice, but they do not have the ability to approve time or evaluations.

When you train employees to fill you skills gap

Finally, when an apprentice completed their apprenticeship, you can “complete” them within Apprentix which will also generate an NFT Certificate issued by Apprentix for the apprentice.

And that’s how you train employees to fill your skills gap: via apprenticeships.

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