Tech companies often poach talent from one another, competing for the same employees in the region in order to fill critical technical positions, all while inflating salaries in order to secure a highly qualified workforce. The current unemployment rate for students exiting college with engineering or computer science degrees is in the single digits, and companies are watching positions go unfilled for 12 months at a time across different roles. This is a major issue for the entire region and is adversely affected the tech industry. Is there a solution in sight? Can companies begin to close the skills gap, regain lost revenue, all while upskilling and maintaining great talent? Absolutely, through apprenticeships.

San Francisco takes apprenticeship seriously. This week marks National Apprenticeship Week as recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as Apprenticeship Week in San Francisco, as declared by San Francisco Mayor London Breed. To celebrate apprenticeships in tech, TechSF, an initiative of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, held an Apprenticeship Week Celebration Event on November 14 to recognize partnerships with tech training providers, employers and allies. Over 150 partners came together to celebrate the strength of TechSF Apprenticeship throughout the week. Postmates, Palo Alto Network, Code for America and the Bay Area Council all spoke to the strength of apprenticeship: apprenticeships add value to your company and strengthen company culture.

What is a TechSF Apprenticeship? TechSF Apprenticeship ensures candidates are ready for your hard-to-fill roles. Apprentices receive on-the-job training, education and mentorship in order to build the industry-recognized skills needed that are specific to your workforce needs. TechSF apprentices are highly talented, motivated and reflect the diverse demographics of San Francisco. Employers love hosting apprentices; over 86 percent of companies that sponsor apprentices say it is an effective strategy for meeting in-demand labor demands.

Employers benefit from TechSF Apprenticeship in the following ways:

  • Gain new, unique, diverse and dedicated talent that brings vast experience to your company.
  • A 47 percent return on investment: for every dollar invested into apprenticeship, a company will  receive $1.47 return on investment.
  • Lower recruiting costs, increased productivity, and internal upskilling for mentors and potential managers.

It’s easy to host apprentices! TechSF Apprenticeship is customizable and helps your company identify the positions that need filling while referring strong candidates. TechSF will help your company through the entire process at no cost. In fact, when your company brings on a TechSF Apprentice, you can receive $2,500-$5,000 to offset onboarding costs. TechSF believes that doing the right thing for your company should provide rewards. Apprenticeship benefits the private and public sectors, and our local communities.

Get started! Contact Orrian Willis (orrian.willis@sfgov.org) or Carolyn Shek (Carolyn.shek@sfgov.org) to start the conversation.