MINNEAPOLIS, JUNE 21, 2021 – Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions; Accenture (NYSE: ACN), a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security; and the economic development partnership GREATER MSP have announced the launch of the Minnesota Apprentice Network at an event this month featuring local partners and speakers.
“Creating and expanding opportunities to empower communities and individuals goes hand in hand with advancing racial equity,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “Employer-led apprenticeship programs recognize that while employers have an urgent need for skilled talent, they need to lead from the front to create demand for employees from all communities.”
"The apprenticeship program will create new opportunities and professional networks for both apprentices and participating employers," said Greg Case, Chief Executive Officer of Aon. "This is an innovative – and inclusive – way for employers to attract and retain diverse talent, prepare future leaders and contribute to building a more diverse resilient workforce."
The Network was developed in conjunction with the GREATER MSP Partnership, the economic development partnership for the 15-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul region; and OneTen, a national coalition of leading executives who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees into family-sustaining jobs over the next 10 years, using apprenticeships as a key strategy to achieve the goal.
“Accenture’s goal, through the Minnesota Apprentice Network, is to give people lasting career opportunities they might never have had, building a bridge to a brighter future,” said Jimmy Etheredge, Accenture’s North America CEO. “It’s in our collective interest to lift each other up as we recover from the health, economic and social crises of the century.”
Skilled trades have long used apprenticeships to grow their talent. Aon and Accenture have collaborated with Zurich North America to increase apprenticeship adoption among employers in Chicago, and have now expanded efforts to the Twin Cities. Every employer creates the apprenticeship model that works for their company, but the unifying theme is that those programs lower the barriers to the corporate sector, such as four-year degree requirements – thus expanding employer access to qualified talent. And in some cases, apprentices are able to pursue a degree at the same time.
“Apprenticeships provide access to career pathway jobs. We believe they are a necessary part of our region’s strategy to advance equity, meet employers’ talent needs and generate inclusive economic growth,” said Peter Frosch, President and CEO of the GREATER MSP Partnership.
Employer demand is increasing for a variety of digital economy roles, and apprenticeship programs can be an excellent way for talented individuals to get the training they need to have sustainable careers. Accenture was a pioneer in professional apprenticeship, starting in Chicago in 2016 and expanding to more than 35 cities across North America. Designed to provide opportunities to those who may lack access to traditional recruiting channels, the Accenture model brings apprentices into the earn-and-learn program primarily through community colleges, non-profits and tech academies. Featuring formal learning, on-the-job training and coaching, the 12-month program helps build skills that launch and advance careers in areas such as cybersecurity, digital, data analytics and cloud migration.
Aon’s apprenticeship model combines a two-year partnership with local community colleges to hire students in full-time roles while they study relevant courses. At the completion of the program, apprentices have earned their associate degree, a certification from the Department of Labor and a promotion into a full-time role. Aon began in 2017 with apprenticeships in Commercial Risk, Information Technology and Human Resources, and has expanded to have apprenticeships in all solution lines and functions. In the Greater MSP region, Aon is hiring apprentices into roles supporting teams in Client Relations, Health and Reinsurance.
“Apprenticeships are differentiated because they jumpstart lifelong careers,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen. “Incorporating benefits like education and healthcare means one apprenticeship can create opportunities for an entire family, and apprenticeships like those launching in Minnesota have clear opportunities for advancement and furthering equity.”
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.
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Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations services — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 537,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
About GREATER MSP Partnership
GREATER MSP is the economic development partnership for the 15-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. Over 200 leading businesses, universities, cities, counties, philanthropies and others are working together to accelerate the competitiveness of the regional economy and drive inclusive economic growth through job creation, capital investment and the execution of strategic initiatives.
OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black Americans over the next 10 years who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. We connect employers with talent partners, leading non-profits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens. Join us at OneTen.org.
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GREATER MSP Partnership
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