State:

National
An "apprenticeship" is a system of employee training that combines on-the-job training with related educational instruction. Traditionally, apprenticeships have been in a trade or craft, but today apprenticeship programs have a much wider reach and exist in engineering, law enforcement, health care, energy, computer software design, and many other trades and professions.
Apprenticeships are an extremely effective and efficient way for employers to hire highly qualified employees. By the time an apprenticed worker is fully trained, the person has conformed to specified professional standards, is generally more productive than the average worker, is more committed to the profession and the employer that has provided the training, and has high job satisfaction. Also, employers that use apprenticeship training may receive aid from their state apprenticeship council or from the federal Office of Apprenticeship (OA).
The first step in setting up an apprenticeship program is to decide whether the occupation in question is suitable for apprenticeship training. OA provides apprenticeship services in all states. Employers can contact a local OA office to help identify work processes for the occupation, develop standards of apprenticeship for registration, and recruit applicants from within or outside the workplace.
Employers or groups of employers often go into partnership with a union to outline a program and arrange financing. Programs typically include an on-the-job training outline, related classroom instruction, curriculum, and the apprenticeship operating procedures. These programs are then registered with OA or an OA-recognized State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).
The regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) include definitions of terms that are often unique to apprenticeship programs (29 CFR 29.2). Some of the more frequently used terms include:
"Journeyworker." A "journeyworker" is a worker who has attained a level of skill, abilities, and competencies recognized within an industry as the mastery-level for the occupation. Use of the term may also refer to a mentor, technician, specialist, or other skilled worker who has documented sufficient skills and knowledge of an occupation, either through formal apprenticeship or through practical on-the-job experience and formal training.
"Related instruction." This term is often referred to as Related Technical Instruction (RTI). Related instruction is an organized and systematic form of instruction designed to provide the apprentice with the knowledge of the theoretical and technical subjects related to the apprentice's occupation. This term was revised in 2008 to include not only classroom instruction and occupational or industrial courses, but also correspondence courses of equivalent value, electronic media, and other forms of self-study approved by OA or a recognized state apprenticeship agency.
Every apprenticeship instructor must meet the state's requirements for a vocational-technical instructor, be a subject matter expert (e.g., a journeyworker), and have training in adult learning styles, which may occur before or after the apprenticeship instructor has started to provide the RTI.
To satisfy federal legal requirements, an apprenticeship program must be an organized, written plan containing the terms and conditions of employment, training, and supervision. The program must also contain the equal opportunity pledge found in 29 CFR 30.3(b) and an affirmative action plan, when applicable.
Under the revised regulations, the completion of an apprenticeship may be measured in three different ways:
• Time-based approach--completion of the industry standard for on-the-job learning of at least 2,000 hours
• Competency-based approach--apprentice has attained competency
• Hybrid approach--a blend of the time-based and competency-based approaches
A complete list of required provisions for an apprenticeship program is found in the regulations (29 CFR 29.5) and includes provisions that address:
• The employment and training of the apprentice in a skilled occupation
• The term of apprenticeship using a time-based, competency, or hybrid approach
• An outline and schedule of the work processes through which an apprentice is to receive training and experience on the job
• Organized instruction designed to provide apprentices with knowledge in technical subjects related to their trade (a minimum of 144 hours per year is recommended)
• A progressively increasing schedule of wages consistent with the skill acquired by the apprentice
• Evaluation and appropriate recordkeeping of the apprentice's progress in job performance and related instruction
• Numeric ratio of apprentices to journeyworkers consistent with proper supervision, training, safety, and other factors
• Reasonable probationary period that allows termination without cause by either the sponsor or apprentice
• Adequate and safe equipment and facilities, and safety training
• Minimum qualifications required by the sponsor for entering apprentices
• A minimum eligible starting age of at least 16 years
• A written apprenticeship agreement that meets federal or state law requirements
• Advanced standing or credit for demonstrated competency, acquired experience, training, or skills for all applicants equally, with commensurate wages
• Proper supervision of on-the-job training with adequate facilities to train apprentices
• Recognition of successful completion of a particular phase of the program
• Clearly identified interim credentials and the process for assessing competency in programs using a competency-based or hybrid approach (credentials must be specifically linked to the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with recognized components of the occupation)
Under federal law, an "apprenticeable occupation" is a skilled trade that:
• Involves skills customarily learned in a practical way through a structured, systematic program of supervised on-the-job training
• Is clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout an industry
• Involves progressive method of acquiring manual, mechanical, or technical skills and knowledge that typically require a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training
• Requires related instruction to supplement the on-the-job training (29 CFR 29.4)
Apprenticeship programs can exist in any profession or craft as long as they meet these criteria.
Civil rights. No employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling an apprenticeship program may discriminate against any individual on the basis of the person's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (29 CFR 30.3).
Age. Regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide that apprenticeship programs are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (29 CFR 1625.21). According to the regulations, employers, unions, and joint labor-management organizations cannot bar individuals from entry into apprenticeship programs solely because of their age. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid where:
• A bona fide occupational qualification applies; or
• The differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age; or
• An employee in a foreign country is involved, and compliance with the ADEA would cause the employer or a corporation controlled by the employer to violate the laws of that country.
Disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against an applicant or employee with a disability who is qualified for admission to or participation in an apprenticeship program (42 USC Sec. 12112). The law applies to an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor­management committee, regardless of whether the apprenticeship program constitutes an employment relationship.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits employers to pay apprentices at a rate below minimum wage, federal regulations governing apprenticeship standards prohibit sponsors from paying apprentices less than the federal minimum wage (29 CFR 29.5). Sponsors must pay a higher wage if required under other applicable federal law, state law, respective regulations, or a collective bargaining agreement.
The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) is responsible for establishing the standards for apprenticeship programs. Program sponsors must comply with the standards to be eligible for program approval and registration by the U.S. government or a state apprenticeship agency. DOLETA helps sponsors develop programs, standards, and schedule work processes to be covered. OA also provides ongoing support services and consultation.
Currently, 26 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have their own state apprenticeship agencies. In these states, OA works closely with state apprenticeship councils and the educational system to deliver support systems at state and local levels.
Additional information can be obtained from DOLETA's website at http://www.doleta.gov where contact information on the regional offices of the federal OA is also available.
Related Topics:
National
An "apprenticeship" is a system of employee training that combines on-the-job training with related educational instruction. Traditionally, apprenticeships have been in a trade or craft, but today apprenticeship programs have a much wider reach and exist in engineering, law enforcement, health care, energy, computer software design, and many other trades and professions.
Apprenticeships are an extremely effective and efficient way for employers to hire highly qualified employees. By the time an apprenticed worker is fully trained, the person has conformed to specified professional standards, is generally more productive than the average worker, is more committed to the profession and the employer that has provided the training, and has high job satisfaction. Also, employers that use apprenticeship training may receive aid from their state apprenticeship council or from the federal Office of Apprenticeship (OA).
The first step in setting up an apprenticeship program is to decide whether the occupation in question is suitable for apprenticeship training. OA provides apprenticeship services in all states. Employers can contact a local OA office to help identify work processes for the occupation, develop standards of apprenticeship for registration, and recruit applicants from within or outside the workplace.
Employers or groups of employers often go into partnership with a union to outline a program and arrange financing. Programs typically include an on-the-job training outline, related classroom instruction, curriculum, and the apprenticeship operating procedures. These programs are then registered with OA or an OA-recognized State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA).
The regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) include definitions of terms that are often unique to apprenticeship programs (29 CFR 29.2). Some of the more frequently used terms include:
"Journeyworker." A "journeyworker" is a worker who has attained a level of skill, abilities, and competencies recognized within an industry as the mastery-level for the occupation. Use of the term may also refer to a mentor, technician, specialist, or other skilled worker who has documented sufficient skills and knowledge of an occupation, either through formal apprenticeship or through practical on-the-job experience and formal training.
"Related instruction." This term is often referred to as Related Technical Instruction (RTI). Related instruction is an organized and systematic form of instruction designed to provide the apprentice with the knowledge of the theoretical and technical subjects related to the apprentice's occupation. This term was revised in 2008 to include not only classroom instruction and occupational or industrial courses, but also correspondence courses of equivalent value, electronic media, and other forms of self-study approved by OA or a recognized state apprenticeship agency.
Every apprenticeship instructor must meet the state's requirements for a vocational-technical instructor, be a subject matter expert (e.g., a journeyworker), and have training in adult learning styles, which may occur before or after the apprenticeship instructor has started to provide the RTI.
To satisfy federal legal requirements, an apprenticeship program must be an organized, written plan containing the terms and conditions of employment, training, and supervision. The program must also contain the equal opportunity pledge found in 29 CFR 30.3(b) and an affirmative action plan, when applicable.
Under the revised regulations, the completion of an apprenticeship may be measured in three different ways:
• Time-based approach--completion of the industry standard for on-the-job learning of at least 2,000 hours
• Competency-based approach--apprentice has attained competency
• Hybrid approach--a blend of the time-based and competency-based approaches
A complete list of required provisions for an apprenticeship program is found in the regulations (29 CFR 29.5) and includes provisions that address:
• The employment and training of the apprentice in a skilled occupation
• The term of apprenticeship using a time-based, competency, or hybrid approach
• An outline and schedule of the work processes through which an apprentice is to receive training and experience on the job
• Organized instruction designed to provide apprentices with knowledge in technical subjects related to their trade (a minimum of 144 hours per year is recommended)
• A progressively increasing schedule of wages consistent with the skill acquired by the apprentice
• Evaluation and appropriate recordkeeping of the apprentice's progress in job performance and related instruction
• Numeric ratio of apprentices to journeyworkers consistent with proper supervision, training, safety, and other factors
• Reasonable probationary period that allows termination without cause by either the sponsor or apprentice
• Adequate and safe equipment and facilities, and safety training
• Minimum qualifications required by the sponsor for entering apprentices
• A minimum eligible starting age of at least 16 years
• A written apprenticeship agreement that meets federal or state law requirements
• Advanced standing or credit for demonstrated competency, acquired experience, training, or skills for all applicants equally, with commensurate wages
• Proper supervision of on-the-job training with adequate facilities to train apprentices
• Recognition of successful completion of a particular phase of the program
• Clearly identified interim credentials and the process for assessing competency in programs using a competency-based or hybrid approach (credentials must be specifically linked to the knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with recognized components of the occupation)
Under federal law, an "apprenticeable occupation" is a skilled trade that:
• Involves skills customarily learned in a practical way through a structured, systematic program of supervised on-the-job training
• Is clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout an industry
• Involves progressive method of acquiring manual, mechanical, or technical skills and knowledge that typically require a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job training
• Requires related instruction to supplement the on-the-job training (29 CFR 29.4)
Apprenticeship programs can exist in any profession or craft as long as they meet these criteria.
Civil rights. No employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling an apprenticeship program may discriminate against any individual on the basis of the person's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (29 CFR 30.3).
Age. Regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide that apprenticeship programs are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (29 CFR 1625.21). According to the regulations, employers, unions, and joint labor-management organizations cannot bar individuals from entry into apprenticeship programs solely because of their age. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid where:
• A bona fide occupational qualification applies; or
• The differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age; or
• An employee in a foreign country is involved, and compliance with the ADEA would cause the employer or a corporation controlled by the employer to violate the laws of that country.
Disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against an applicant or employee with a disability who is qualified for admission to or participation in an apprenticeship program (42 USC Sec. 12112). The law applies to an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor­management committee, regardless of whether the apprenticeship program constitutes an employment relationship.
Although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) permits employers to pay apprentices at a rate below minimum wage, federal regulations governing apprenticeship standards prohibit sponsors from paying apprentices less than the federal minimum wage (29 CFR 29.5). Sponsors must pay a higher wage if required under other applicable federal law, state law, respective regulations, or a collective bargaining agreement.
The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA) is responsible for establishing the standards for apprenticeship programs. Program sponsors must comply with the standards to be eligible for program approval and registration by the U.S. government or a state apprenticeship agency. DOLETA helps sponsors develop programs, standards, and schedule work processes to be covered. OA also provides ongoing support services and consultation.
Currently, 26 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have their own state apprenticeship agencies. In these states, OA works closely with state apprenticeship councils and the educational system to deliver support systems at state and local levels.
Additional information can be obtained from DOLETA's website at http://www.doleta.gov where contact information on the regional offices of the federal OA is also available.
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