FAQs For Employers

Pre – Apprenticeship

There are six components of high-quality pre-apprenticeship programs:

  • Transparent entry and success requirements
  • Alignment with skills sought by local employers and high-quality apprenticeship curricula
  • Culmination in one or more industry-recognized credentials
  • Development of skills through hands-on activities and work-based learning
  • Offering of academic rigor, career exploration and wraparound supports
  • Transition into a registered apprenticeship or other high-quality apprenticeship program

Apprenticeship 101

An apprenticeship is an employer-driven model and a form of experiential learning that combines on-the-job learning as a paid employee with related classroom instruction in order to increase an apprentice’s skill level and wages.

An apprentice is a qualified person of legal working age who has entered into a written agreement with an employer under which the employer is to provide an opportunity for the apprentice to learn an apprenticeable occupation.

Yes. Apprentices start working when they enter an apprenticeship, with steady wage increases as they become more proficient. The average starting wage for an apprentice is $15 per hour.

Apprenticeships helps businesses develop highly skilled employees, reduce turnover rates, increase productivity and lower the cost of recruitment. Additional benefits include:

  • Skilled Workforce: Recruit and develop a highly skilled workforce that helps you grow your business.
  • Improve Productivity: Improve profitability and positive impact to your bottom line.
  • Reduce Turnover: Minimize cost with reduced turnover and liability.
  • Customizable Training: Create flexible training options that ensure workers develop the right skills.
  • Retain Workers: 94% of apprentices continue employment after completing an apprenticeship.
  • Diversity: Foster a diverse and inclusive culture.

SourceHow Can an Apprenticeship Benefit You?

There are four components to typical apprenticeship programs. These include:

  • On-the-Job-Learning (OJL): Training in the public or private sector that is given to a paid employee while he or she is engaged in productive work that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job. There is usually a minimum of 2,000 hours of structured and supervised OJL.
  • Related Instruction (RI): The classroom (or online) learning component of a registered apprenticeship. A registered apprenticeship program must have a minimum of 144 hours of RI each year, and RI may be obtained through a college, union, online program, private training provider or internally at a company.
  • Wage Progression: There is a minimum wage requirement, and apprentices must receive a minimum of one wage progression during their apprenticeship.
  • National Occupational Credential: Registered apprenticeship programs result in a nationally recognized credential – a 100% guarantee to employers that apprentices are fully qualified for a job.

There are three different types of apprenticeship: time based, competency based and hybrid. The type of apprenticeship is determined by the U.S. Department of Labor based on occupation.

  • Time Based: This is the traditional apprenticeship model involving completion of at least 2,000 hours of OJL experience. The U.S. Department of Labor sets the number of hours of OJL based on occupation.
  • Competency Based: This model allows the apprentice to move through the related technical instruction upon mastery, rather than being bound to the time frames of specific courses or semesters. The U.S. Department of Labor still expects the apprenticeship to last a minimum of 2,000 hours so the student can fully practice and demonstrate competencies.
  • Hybrid: This model requires the apprentice to complete a specified minimum number of OJL hours and RI hours to demonstrate competency in the defined subject areas.

Apprenticeable /Non – Apprenticeable Occupation

Apprenticeable occupations generally are defined as those occupations for which:

  • Skills are primarily learned through a combination of on-the-job training supplemented by related technical instruction
  • Apprentices get at least 2,000 hours of work experience plus related instruction
  • Manual, mechanical or technical skills are practiced industry wide as a recognizable trade or craft
  • The development of a body of skills is sufficiently well defined to be applicable throughout an industry

Each registered apprentice is guaranteed, at minimum, a one-wage progression during their apprenticeship. When you receive your increase and how much you receive will depend on your individual apprenticeship. When you begin your apprenticeship program, you will complete and sign an Apprenticeship Agreement that clearly states the terms of your apprenticeship so you understand your wages, when you will receive wage increases and how much they will be—as well as other important information that is specific to your apprenticeship program.

The U.S. Department of Labor keeps a list of available occupations online at: https://www.doleta.gov/OA/occupations.cfm. You can start by searching this list to see if there is an occupation on the list that matches the occupation you would like to turn in to a registered apprenticeship.

The term “non-apprenticeable” occupation means that the occupation you are considering is not on the available apprenticeable occupation list developed by the U.S. Department of Labor. This does not mean the occupation cannot be added to the list; it just means it was not added to the original list. If the occupation meets the criteria defined above for an apprenticeable occupation, you can go through the process of requesting the occupation be added to the apprenticeable occupation list. This is done during the regular registered apprenticeship “application” process but requires several more steps to the process.

The approval process varies and can take anywhere between six and 12 months. The more prepared you are, the faster the process.

Apprenticeship Program Sponsorship

No, employers do not have to be sponsors of an apprenticeship. The sponsor can be the employer, an industry association, sector partnership, joint labor-management organizations, educational or training providers, community organizations, chambers or other workforce intermediaries. In many cases NSHE can serve as the Apprenticeship Program Sponsor

Sponsors are responsible for administering the apprenticeship program. Responsibilities of the sponsor include:

  • Developing the standards, work processes, and RTI, and updating and maintaining the standards
  • Maintaining records in accordance with DOL regulations (related instruction, work process, proof of wage increase, employer EEO policy, hiring procedures and HR)
  • Preparing for, participating in and resolving DOL program audits
  • Registering and maintaining RAPIDS database

Small Businesses

Businesses of any size can offer apprenticeships as long as there is someone to mentor the apprentice in the occupation.

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