Pioneering Public-Private Partnership launches to create Technology Apprenticeships

A first ever public-private collaboration launches this week to offer participants on-the-job training, mentoring and classes – all while earning a paycheck in an “earn while you learn” model.

The zSystems Apprenticeship Pilot Program aims to fulfil critically needed infrastructure positions in Mainframe System Management, Software Engineering, and Applications Development with skilled workers. While mainframe still serves a key role in mission critical systems in the financial sector, law enforcement and elsewhere, many of the trained staff have retired. The program is aimed at addressing the tech industry’s skills gap by preparing more students and working professionals for new-collar jobs that don’t necessarily require a degree.

The goal of the program is to advance efforts to put more people into the mainframe jobs pipeline. The program will offer those new to the workforce, as well as mid-career workers, an opportunity to acquire skills for in-demand public technology jobs.

The project joins sponsoring agencies including the California Government Operations Agency, Employment Development Department, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, California Department of Technology, Franchise Tax Board, California Department of Industrial Relations, Department of Motor Vehicles, and SEIU Local 1000. The effort leverages the power of IBM’s gold standard apprenticeship framework, to upskill its current incumbent workforce and build a new corps of professionals with mainframe skills.

For more information visit the California Department of Industrial Relations and the California Department of Technology careers websites. You can also follow #NewCollarJobs, or visit for more information.