The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021: Keep an Eye on this One!

An image of the wording of H.R. 447 The National Apprenticeship Act of 2021.It’s not very often we hear good news coming out of Washington or that members of Congress worked together and actually did something in a truly bipartisan way. Besides, to most people, bills introduced in the legislature tend to sound boring or seem to not apply to the average person. However, H.R. 447, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 is one you’ll want to keep an eye on!

An earlier version of this bill was passed by the House in 2020. Unfortunately, it did not see action in the Senate before the last session of Congress ended. The bill was introduced again in January 2021 by Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chair of the Committee on Education and Labor. It passed in the House of Representatives in February with bipartisan support (247 to 173) and is now on its way to the Senate.

According to a fact sheet issued by the House Committee on Education and Labor, this act would invest “more than $3.5 billion over 5 years in expanding opportunities and access to Registered Apprenticeships (RA), youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. The proposal would create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system.”

Judging from popularity of the Career Lantern post Apprenticeships: Get Paid While Pursuing Your Career, interest in apprenticeships is very strong indeed! This should not be surprising as apprenticeships are an excellent way to pursue a career and get paid while learning. The fact sheet cited earlier stated that 94% of people who complete RAs are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of above $70,000 annually. Not a bad deal!

So what’s next for this bill? As of this writing, H.R. 447 has passed the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate. If the Senate passes the act, it will then proceed to the President for his signature. If signed by President Biden, it will become law and go into effect July 1, 2022.

To keep track of H.R. 447 and check its current status, go to the congressional website at https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/447. There may be more opportunities for an apprenticeship in your future!

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience or thoughts!

The Online Video Job Interview: Doing It Right!

Woman sitting at a desktop computer with webcam and two screens.You applied for a job and are anxiously waiting to hear back. So, what happens next? If you are fortunate enough to land an interview, odds are it might be in the form of an online video interview. Initially, online interviews were used by employers primarily for screening purposes. These sessions offered the company a chance to preview an applicant and decide whether to bring him or her in for a “real” face-to-face interview. Now, for a whole host of reasons, online videos are indeed real interviews. Today, many individuals go through the interview process completely online and are hired without ever having a traditional, in-person interview.

If you get the invitation, are you ready to participate in an online video interview? While communicating with friends and family via apps such as FaceTime may be no sweat, the thought of an online video job interview may be a bit intimidating. And, for good reason! After all, your career and potentially big dollars are on the line here!

Are Online Video Job Interviews Easier?

Sure seems like they should be. After all, you don’t have to deal with all the hassles usually associated with a physical interview such as traffic, parking, finding the right office, or maybe even flight schedules and hotels. But, in truth, you may have merely traded in those problems for potential new ones, perhaps of some which you may not have even thought about yet. Fortunately, we’ll be discussing those and help get you prepared.

However, before we discuss specifics regarding online interviews, it is important to note that everything you would normally do to prepare yourself for a traditional face-to-face interview also applies to online interviews.

You still need to:

  • Dress professionally and appropriately, just as if you were interviewing in person. However, a caveat regarding clothing will be discussed later.
  • Do your research so you have a basic knowledge of the company. This will help you develop intelligent questions.
  • Review the position description or posting again to gain a better understanding of the job and its duties. This may also lead to questions you will want to ask.
  • Try to anticipate some of the questions you may be asked and develop responses.
  • Repeatedly practice your responses to expected questions or topics so the words will come more easily. However, try to sound natural and not overly rehearsed.
  • Have your resume, cover letter, references, etc. handy in case you need them.
  • Be prepared for a skills test either before, during, or after the interview. Read about skills tests on a Career Lantern post here and listen to my podcast here.

Having briefly reviewed those usual tasks, let’s now address some of the challenges specifically associated with online job interviews. These will be broken down into four broad categories:

  • Location
  • Technology
  • Photographic Considerations
  • On-Camera Conduct

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