Dan Mall is a developer who started the SuperFriendly Academy, a space where he essentially has apprentices who he teaches basic, entry level developing and designing skills to, while also benefiting from the value of their work.
Mall started his speech by discussing how learning on the job is often the exception, and that companies are most often looking for people who are amazing before they even get to the company. These same people are competitive hires who require high salaries, and are likely to leave their jobs every couple years and move on to better things. He then goes on to discuss the value of apprenticeships, which are common in hands-on professions like tattoo artistry and the culinary industry, but not as much in development. He describes his company SuperFriendly Academy, which offers untrained individuals a program through which they can learn skills in development and design, while also doing real work in the process. The Academy is a nine month long program, with the first three months offering basic unpaid (but free) training, the next three months in project work, and in the final three months the apprentices are taught how to apply for jobs, build their portfolios and how to interview.
Mall outlines the benefits of such a program for the business leaders in the room, explaining that hiring from the top pool of candidates can be competitive and expensive in the long run. On the other hand, hiring apprentices and helping them grow on their path to success is cheaper, incites more loyalty, takes up less time than they might think and broadens company perspectives and diversity – ultimately leading to more success for the brand.