Farm apprentices: a good idea?

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and the U.S. Department of Commerce found that registered apprenticeship programs lead to greater productivity due to a decrease in employee errors, reduced employee turnover, and improved employee engagement. Apprenticeships may also reduce employers’ hiring costs and increase employee loyalty. International studies suggest that for every dollar spent on an apprenticeship, employers may get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity, reduced waste, and front-line innovation.

In Europe, apprenticeships are so widespread, they’re not seen as a lesser choice. In fact, the average age of someone entering an apprenticeship in Europe is 17, says Seleznow, compared with 28 in the United States….

…Harper College is one of the many community colleges partnering with DOL through its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. TAACCCT has awarded $1.9 billion to 256 grantees to create registered apprentice programs in conjunction with local employers and driven by their staffing needs….

…A Jobs for the Future initiative called the Pathways to Prosperity Network is looking at ways to re-envision high school education to prepare students for youth apprenticeship programs. Nancy Hoffman, a senior advisor at the organization, encourages parents to keep an open mind about apprenticeship. “If you’re not sure your child will get a job with a four-year degree and your child is going into debt for that degree, you might want to look for options with more security,” she says….

Why Apprenticeships Are Back – CityLab

Will This New Labor Classification Save Gig Workers’ Careers? 

A new proposal by MBO Partners, which provides back office services to independent workers out of Herndon, Va., aims to alleviate those concerns. Under the proposal, released this morning, independent workers would be able to seek a special certification signifying that they have formally declared their status as independent workers and have opted out of the protections given to traditional employees. Companies who hired the certified workers would be safe from having the workers reclassified as employees.

“We’re not trying change any laws that exist today,” said Gene Zaino, founder and CEO of MBO Partners. “We want to create a safe harbor for people who acknowledge they don’t need the rights of an employee. For those people who don’t want to go through the process, the current laws still exist.”

There are some potential challenges with the proposal, he acknowledges. One is the potential for employers to pressure freelancers to get the certification–or lose out on potential work. To prevent the most vulnerable workers from being exploited, MBO Partners has proposed that only workers who earn $50 an hour or more could be certified.

Source: Will This New Labor Classification Save Gig Workers’ Careers? – Forbes

In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal – NYTimes.com

In the geeky world of data and analysis of markets that I live in most of the time, the article linked below was like candy. And it reminds me that sometimes data tells you to just trust your own knowledge about people.
The upshot  of this relies on an old adage that a seriously smart boss told me 35 years ago: “hire attitude, train skill.” That means so many things, but at its most basic means don’t waste your time trying to find indicators of later success by asking for tales of past success or levels of education among applicants (if not crucial to the work at hand), but instead know what the right attitude is for the job. For example, if it requires managing a market with a wide age span among vendors, then knowing how that person feels about people older or younger than them is key. Using behavioral questions can bring you closer to finding the set of skills that you need for your market or business.

Give us an example of a time you learned something from a coworker or colleague who was younger than you.

What would be your response if someone you worked with told you they never read emails or allow texts?

And that for leadership, the best measures are how consistent and fair the person is. Not how smart or hard-working or even fun that person is, but how fairly they treat everyone. This is true of a manager of staff and it is true of a manager of a market.

And on the employee side, it is crucial that the employees of a market are consistently and fairly evaluated on a regular basis. Everyone needs feedback on their work.

 

In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal – NYTimes.com.

Let’s be clear: Independent Contractor or Employee?

One of the projects on which I will be working (TBA soon) may help to address some of the employment issues that I see within food systems, especially markets. Here is one of those issues, how markets employ their market staff.
This is from the IRS website:

“You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.”
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The decision is based on three areas:

Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?

Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?.

How Do I Build a Business Plan? (Infographic) | Entrepreneur.com

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