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Organization:Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina

Benefit:Reduce Turnover

Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina (BCBSSC) began running its Entry Level Training Program (ELTP) in 1997. While the ELTP has long followed a basic earn-and-learn model that effectively makes it an apprenticeship, BCBSSC did not register the program with DOL until 2009. Executives see the ELTP as part of a pipeline that brings on new employees, trains them, and uses their knowledge and skills to train new employees coming in behind them. The major benefit they cited, however, was the building of loyalty and camaraderie as well as the ability to inculcate a “Blue Cross culture” in younger, inexperienced candidates. The ELTP provides a training ground for future leadership, with 22 percent of current ELTP-trained staff at BCBSSC in leadership roles. In addition, attrition rates are lower for ELTP participants than for employees hired from other channels, averaging around 4 percent, compared to an industry average of 13 percent. The average tenure of current ELTP-trained employees is nearly 10 years.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and Case Western Reserve University. (November 2016). The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeship: A Business Perspective. 
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