Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Registered Apprenticeships

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Apprenticeships actively promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace—including race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

Key Words

DIVERSITY The practice of including the full spectrum of communities, identities, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, abilities, cultures, and beliefs, including underserved communities. 

EQUITY The consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment.

INCLUSION The recognition, appreciation, and use of talents and skills from employees of all backgrounds. 

ACCESSIBILITY The intentional design, construction, and development of facilities, information technology, programs, and services.

How To Increase DEIA in Registered Apprenticeship Programs

A Registered Apprenticeship Program is a workforce solution that allows employees to earn a paycheck while receiving on-the-job training and related technical instruction. Apprenticeships provide an effective strategy for hiring and retaining diverse individuals. Apprenticeships actively promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace—including race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

Registered Apprenticeships must operate under the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulation for Registered Apprenticeship Programs, which ensures that programs are nondiscriminatory and that workers are provided with a safe and harassment-free workplace. Affirmative Action Programs are required for apprenticeship programs if a company has more than five apprentices. These plans establish a roadmap for sponsors to promote equal opportunity for their open apprentice positions, attract diverse candidates, develop a workplace free from discrimination, and address any barriers to equality in their apprenticeships.

Registered Apprenticeship Programs can also attract veterans by getting approved to accept GI Bill® benefits and becoming a veteran-ready organization.1

The Benefits of DEIA in Registered Apprenticeships

Employee performance increases when diversity within the workforce increases.

Companies in the top quartiles for gender diversity were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability.

Employees are 19 percent more likely to stay longer with a diverse company.

Companies in the top quartiles for ethnic and cultural diversity were 35 percent more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability.2

Resources To Coordinate DEIA Efforts

  • The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Universal Outreach Tool is an excellent resource to help identify and connect with potential partners in your location. 
  • State vocational and rehabilitation agencies serve individuals with disabilities and can be a helpful resource for hiring and making reasonable accommodations to ensure they can succeed.
  • DOL Veterans Employment Services has information on attracting and retaining veteran talent. 
  • Institutions of higher education including minority-serving institutions and community colleges can be great partners for delivering related instruction courses and recruiting diverse candidates.

Examples of Underserved Communities

  • Black & African American
  • Hispanic & Latino 
  • Native American, American Indian, Native Alaskan, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 
  • Middle Eastern, North African
  • Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Religious Beliefs 
  • Persons with Disabilities 
  • 1st Generation Professional/College Limited English Proficiency Immigrants 
  • Older Age
  • Formerly Incarcerated 
  • Inhabitants of Rural Areas 
  • Veterans & Military Spouses 
  • Persistent Poverty
  1. U.S. Department of Labor, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (accessed June 2024), https://www.apprenticeship.gov/employers/diversity-equity-inclusion-accessibility
  2. Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/25/executive-order-on-diversity-equity-inclusion-and-accessibility-in-the-federal-workforce/