What is an Apprenticeship?
It’s a job! It’s a career! Registered apprenticeship is a training method that combines supervised, full-time, structured on-the-job learning with related classroom instruction. It’s sponsored by employers or labor/management groups who have the ability to hire and train in a work environment. What distinguishes registered apprenticeship from other approaches are such fundamental qualities as: the written agreement, the skills acquired, the value attached to credentials earned, curricula content that is defined by the workplace, wage requirements, and the tacit social contract that exists between program sponsors and their participants.
WHAT IS AN APPRENTICE?
An apprentice is a worker who learns an occupation through planned, supervised On-the-Job-Learning (OJL) in conjunction with receiving planned, related technical instruction in a classroom setting.
They are taught the proper use, care and safe handling of tools and equipment used in their work. Apprentices are a paid part of the workforce.
Apprentices are required to pursue a course of study or enroll in classroom instruction in subjects related to the trade to compliment their on-the-job learning.
Apprenticeship is no snap!! If someone is looking for a soft touch, apprenticeship isn’t it. It demands hard work and has tough competition. An apprentice must have the will to see the program through. It takes ambition. It takes drive. It takes courage. It takes patience.
HOW APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS OPERATE
Registered Apprenticeship combines on the job learning with related and supplemental instructions at school, through correspondence courses or on-line. Each program operates under a set of apprenticeship standards, selection procedures and classroom course guidelines. These standards are approved and registered with the United States Department of Labor’s, Office of Apprenticeship.
Individuals can pursue apprenticeship openings when they meet the minimum qualifications and the industry accepts applications of their program. All applications must be made in person. Applicants are evaluated and place on a waiting list in sequence. The program sponsor determines final selection of applicants. Selection interviews are held periodically, depending on the current need for Apprentices. The best way for a person to enter and serve an apprenticeship is under the terms of a written agreement, which ensures proper registration. Upon completion of a registered apprenticeship, you will receive a certificate that is recognized in all 50 states.
Apprentices attend classes of related technical instruction. This supplements the training given on the job and gives each apprentice a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical aspects of his work. A growing number of programs are college accredited and may lead to an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science or Applied Technology.
Each day on the job, apprentices learn under the supervision of a skilled worker who supervises and teaches them the arts and skills of the job. They also learn the use of the tools of their job, and later on in their training, when they have advanced far enough; they are allowed to use power-driven tools and machinery. In many occupations, the apprentices are required to furnish their own hand tools.
Training is spelled out in apprenticeship standards developed by the apprenticeship program or sponsor with the assistance of the United State Department of Labor’s, Office Apprenticeship. The processes of the occupation and the number of hours to be spent in learning each processes defined. The period of training varies from one to five years, depending on the occupation.
Apprentices usually start at a percentage of the journeyman wage and receive increases at regular intervals. Starting wages average about 50% of the journeyman wages. Increases are usually given every six months if satisfactory progress is made.
Apprenticeship provides the skills, technical knowledge and attitude that are needed to become a skilled worker. The particular skills and knowledge vary for each occupation. The skilled worker must plan, layout and organize work, as well as make, assemble, operate and maintain. This requires technical knowledge of mathematics and sciences that apply to the particular occupation. Pride in workmanship is an important factor for a successful worker and the apprentice must have a real interest in the occupation being learned and must desire to become a skilled worker.
The particular occupation for which a person is qualified will depend on the type of skills, the amount of technical knowledge required and the ability and interests of the person. No hard and fast rules can be laid down, but, in general, technical aptitude, average intelligence and a sincere interest in the occupation will provide for success in a skilled occupation.
HOW TO APPLY TO AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
Registered apprenticeship is a time honored training method that combines supervised, full-time, structured on-the-job learning with related technical instruction. Individuals can pursue apprenticeship openings when they meet the minimum qualifications and the company accepts applications of their program. The program sponsor determines final selection of applicants. The best way for a person to enter and serve an apprenticeship is under the terms of a written agreement, which ensures proper registration. Upon completion of a registered apprenticeship, you will receive a certificate that is recognized in all 50 states.
- Choose an occupation that you believe you could be a productive worker in. There are many different occupations that are considered to be “apprenticeable”. For a current list of all the apprenticeable occupations and how long it takes to train for the occupation, please visit: http://www.doleta.gov/OA/occupations.cfm
- Once you have chosen an occupation you will need to find an employer (sponsor) that has an apprenticeship program for that occupation. You can find a list of all the registered apprenticeship programs in Utah, broken down by county at our website http://www.dol.gov/featured/apprenticeship. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the “Additional Resources section, click on “Apprenticeship Sponsor Data Base”, select Utah, and then choose your county.
- Contact the Program and ask when applications are taken. Some programs take applications any time their office is open, others are only available at certain times. Make sure you don’t miss an opportunity-get all this information first.
- Find out what documents you need to bring with you. The programs are required by the Federal Government to keep copies of certain documents. They will return your originals to you. They will not allow you to apply without all documentation.
- Ask if they can send you any materials about their programs. If after reading those materials, you still have questions, then call the program office and ask for clarification. Ask if they have a website. Many programs provide excellent information regarding their programs via the internet.
- Dress appropriately when you go in for the interview.
- Make sure you take a pen (one that you know writes!) a sharp pencil. Be sure to have the proper documentation that the program requires. Ask any references in advance for permission to use their names.
- In your interview emphasize your jobs and hobbies that indicate an interest in the outdoors, fixing or working on your home on your own or helping with alterations or repairs.
- If there is not a sponsor listed on the Utah’s sponsor data base for the occupation that you have chosen, and you know of an employer who has this occupation. Ask the employer to contact our office and we would be happy to assist the employer in registering an apprenticeship program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT
United States Department of Labor
Bob Couse, State Director
Pat Miller, Apprenticeship and Training Representative