The Why and How of Implementing an Apprenticeship Program
During President Obama’s State of the Union address on January 20, the topic of apprenticeships made the spotlight. Obama asked that businesses offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships, in hopes of giving workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs. As recruiting qualified, highly skilled employees becomes more difficult for certain professional service organizations, apprenticeships are becoming more popular, and employers are seeing an increased need to implement them at their companies.
Apprenticeship programs can be a successful way to train entry-level employees. They combine on-the-job training with practical and theoretical education for skilled occupations. There are two ways apprenticeships can work:
- Combining on-the-job training with secondary or post-secondary classes
- Building the apprenticeship to include classroom training at a program training center, in an on-site classroom or with online courses
Employers are seeing the value of implementing apprenticeship programs because they’re able to recruit, train and retain employees with the proper and necessary skills for their industries. Apprenticeships’ duration typically last one to six years to allow apprentices the time to work and learn, and will ensure your apprentices are fully trained employees at the end of the program.
When starting your apprenticeship program, a few key areas should be considered during development:
- State and federal laws: Ensure you’re staying compliant with laws and regulations.
- Apprenticeship pay: Refer to the Fair Labor Standards Act when thinking about compensation.
- Written agreement: Outline the terms before the apprenticeship begins for clarification and specifics.
- Registered Apprenticeships: Decide whether you’d like your apprenticeship to be a part of the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration system of Registered Apprenticeships. For more information, visit: www.doleta.gov/oa/employer.cfm.
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