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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Eight Essential Components of Apprenticeship Training

  1. Apprenticeship TrainingStructured Training - Apprenticeship is a training strategy that:
    • combines supervised, structured on-the job training with related instruction.
    • is sponsored by employers, employer associations or labor/management groups that have the ability to hire and train in a working environment. The employment opportunity is the most basic requirement for any apprenticeship. Without the job, there is no on the job training.  On the job training represents approximately 90% of the program.
    • provides quality related instruction. Related instruction is theoretical and technical, and it is usually provided by the represented trade group, an employer, a local community college, or a training center. Related instruction is a key part of each apprenticeship and it is required by federal apprenticeship law. The requirement is that there must be 144 hours of related instruction per year.
  2. Skilled Training - Apprenticeship is a training strategy that prepares people for skilled employment by conducting training in bona fide and documented employment settings.  The content of training, both on-the-job and related instruction, is defined by the industry.
  3. Apprenticeship Laws - Apprenticeship is a training strategy with requirements that are clearly stated in Federal laws and regulations. The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 (also known as the Fitzgerald Act) provides the guidance from the federal level. Regulations specific to apprenticeships can be found in 29 CFR, parts 29.1 to 29.14. These laws and regulations establish minimum requirements for protecting the welfare of the apprentice, such as:
    1. the length of training,
    2. type and amount of related instruction,
    3. supervision of the apprentice,
    4. appropriate ratios of apprentices to journey workers, and
    5. apprentice selection and recruitment procedures, etc.
  4. Credentials - Registered apprenticeship is a training strategy that by virtue of an agreement leads to a certificate of completion and official/recognized journey worker status. The agreements and completion certificates are issued by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship. These credentials have explicit meaning, recognition, and respect in the eyes of federal and state governments and relevant industries.

    Also required is the approval and monitoring of the program by the U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship.  When employers desire to start or modify an apprentice program, they are provided technical assistance by this office.
  5. Investment in Training - Apprenticeship is a training strategy that involves a tangible investment on the part of the apprentice, program sponsor, individual employer or labor/management group. The apprentice’s investment is the time to learn skills and to perfect those skills on the job.  The apprentice is expected to manage their time, keep their work records, attend classes, and to progress in their apprenticeship program.
  6. Earn and Learn - Apprenticeship is a training strategy that pays wages to apprentices during the term of their apprenticeship. These wages are a portion of the skilled wage rate that increases throughout the training program in accordance with a predetermined wage scale. The wages generally average 40-60% of the established skilled journeyman’s rate over the term of the apprenticeship and must not be less than minimum wage.
  7. Supervised Training - Apprenticeship is a training strategy in which participants learn by working directly under the supervision of skilled workers in the craft, trade or occupational areas.
  8. Apprentice Agreement - Apprenticeship is a training strategy that involves a written agreement between the apprentice, the employer, and the U.S. DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship.  This agreement specifies the length of the training, the related school requirements, an outline of the skills of the trade to be learned, and the wages the apprentice will receive.