Competency-Based Apprenticeships Come to Maryland

We’ve written a lot on this blog about various apprenticeship programs popping up around the country, the practice has taken off as more and more people are realizing its benefits. This program in Maryland stands out by taking a competency-based approach that focuses on skill proficiency instead of time logged.

The apprenticeship program through Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MD MEP) offered a competency-based approach. A competency-based apprenticeship program is focused on the demonstration of proficiency in a specific skill or competency in lieu of meeting time-based work experience. This allows apprentices to accelerate the rate of competency achievement or take additional time if needed due the open entry and exit design of the program.

As part of the apprenticeship development process, the MD MEP team conducted a full-scale job-task analysis of the existing facility and conducted a comprehensive skills assessment of more than 100 workers. Identifying which tasks are necessary for a qualified apprentice to perform in order to demonstrate competency is important to ensure the training meets the unique needs of the company. The Dixon Valve job-task analysis aided the development of job profiles for each position to better align the company’s current needs with future training programs.

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