Inspiring great youth work
Cheryl R. Sturko Grossman | Michael E. Wonacott
Apprenticeship has a long history as a method of workforce education and training, with roots going back to the
Code of Hammurabi in the 18th century BC. Apprentices are paid employees and receive on-the-job training
(OJT) and related technical instruction (RTI). Traditionally, apprenticeships have predominantly been available for
construction trades like construction craft laborer and plumber.
Today’s apprenticeships offer training in construction as well as in occupations as diverse as alteration tailor,
machinist, legal secretary, and youth development practitioner. Apprenticeships are also becoming available in
emerging and high-growth industries such as advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and
energy. Apprenticeship is called “the other college education” for good reason; it provides postsecondary-level
skills and earning potential. Apprenticeship is an excellent although sometimes overlooked resource for Workforce
Investment Act (WIA) youth programs.
Apprenticeship By The Numbers
449,897 active apprentices in the U. S. in 2006
In 2006, the average national 29,273 active apprenticeship programs in the U. S. in 2006
starting wage for an apprentice 1,000 or so apprenticeable occupations in the U. S. in 2008
was $12.16. 1,942 sponsors of apprenticeship programs in Ohio in July 2007
202 apprenticeable occupations Ohio in July 2007
What Is a Registered Apprenticeship?
Registered apprenticeships, codified by the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937, must adhere to a rigorous set of
• A written plan, or standards, for each apprenticeship program must describe the terms and conditions of
employment, training, and supervision.
• Individual employers (union or non-union), employers groups, associations, or joint labor-management
committees can be sponsors of apprenticeship programs.
• Each program must provide at least 2,000 hours of OJT in the apprenticeship occupation. Wages increase as
skills are attained. Some apprenticeships may require 10,000 hours or more of OJT.
• The program must include at least 144 hours per year of organized RTI provided through in-house training,
career-technical centers, community colleges, or other organized settings.
• Each apprentice must receive appropriate supervision on the job to ensure adequate and safe training.
• Each apprentice’s job performance and knowledge of RTI must be regularly evaluated.
• Appropriate records of each apprentice’s progress must be maintained.
• Programs may not discriminate in application, selection, employment, or training; they must provide fair
opportunity to apply for the program.
• Qualifications for admission into an apprenticeship program are set according to industry needs. The minimum
age for an apprentice is 16, but some industries require age 18 and most apprentices must have a high school
diploma or equivalent certification.
• The Ohio State Apprenticeship Council (OSAC) issues a Certificate of Completion to each apprentice who
fulfills all program requirements. Currently under discussion is the issue of interim certificates to apprentices
who complete intermediate levels preparatory to a Certificate of Completion.
Youthwork Information Briefs are sponsored by Ohio Department of Job and Family Services - ODJFS, Office of
Workforce Development, Bureau of Workforce Services.
Entrance Requirements for Registered Apprenticeships 2
Requirements vary from one sponsor to the next but may include
• High school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate
• A valid driver’s license and transportation
• Drug testing
• Specified levels of basic skills or successful completion of specified math or science courses
• The physical ability to perform tasks in the occupation
• Work experience in the occupation
Benefits of Registered Apprenticeships
Registered apprenticeships can provide income while also providing training that links work with academics
and offers opportunities for further education and career advancement. Registered apprenticeships benefit
employers by ensuring a reliable supply of skilled talent.
Benefits of Registered Apprenticeship
Benefits to Apprentices Benefits to Employers
• Immediate employment that usually pays higher • Steady supply of skilled workers
wages • Training matched to industry needs and the specific
• Opportunities for career growth and wage growth employer’s needs
• Higher quality of life and skills versatility • Increased productivity and higher-quality work
• Training ties into locally available job opportunities • Improved retention
• Certificates recognized nationally and often globally • Possible reduction in workers compensation claims
• Opportunity for college credit and degrees through and health care costs through an emphasis on safety
articulation with 2-year and 4-year colleges during training
• Apprenticeship Service Provider available to help
establish and maintain quality registered program
What Is a Pre-apprenticeship Program?
Pre-apprenticeship programs operated by education, community-, or faith-based organizations can help youth
prepare for a successful apprenticeship experience by
Youthwork Information Brief
• Exploring an occupation before making a commitment to an apprenticeship
• Acquiring the necessary foundation skills to be successful in the classroom and on the job
• Meeting selection criteria for admission to an apprenticeship by emphasizing the importance of succeeding in
school and in the workforce
Registered Apprenticeships and WIA Common Measures
Placement in a registered apprenticeship program counts as employment in the first quarter after exit under
Placement in Employment or Education (TEGL 17-05).
Certificates of Completion (and interim certificates, if adopted) issued by registered apprenticeship programs
count as a certificate for the Attainment of a Degree or Certificate Measure (TEGL 17-05, Appendix B; TEGL
If RTI for an apprenticeship program is provided by community or technical colleges for college credit,
educational credentials awarded by the college also count as a certificate for the Attainment of a Degree or
Certificate Measure (TEGL 2-07).
Finding an Apprenticeship Program
The OSAC website (http://jfs.ohio.gov/apprenticeship/) has links to the frequently updated U.S Department of
Labor database of apprenticeship programs. The database is searchable by state and county. Occupations with
existing registered programs are listed alphabetically. Program sponsors should be contacted to determine if
they have an apprenticeship opening; presence on the list does not indicate the sponsor is taking applications
for apprenticeship or employment.
3 In addition, the OSAC website has a link to current Apprenticeship Opportunities (http://www.ohioworkforce.
org/jobseekers/apprentice_toc.stm). Announcements indicate the name, location, and qualifications needed to
apply for these opportunities.
What Should WIA Youth Programs Do?
WIA youth staff should familiarize themselves with local apprenticeship opportunities.
• Identify local apprenticeship programs using links available at http://jfs.ohio.gov/apprenticeship/
• Identify the entrance requirements for each apprenticeship program
• Determine when each program accepts applications
WIA youth staff should also determine whether apprenticeship is suitable for interested youth.
• Does the youth meet all the entrance requirements for the apprenticeship program? The youth
should meet all entrance requirements before applying. If necessary, activities can be included in the youth’s
Individual Service Strategy (ISS) to meet requirements, including supportive services for transportation.
• Is the youth’s interest in the occupation based on realistic career information? Since
apprenticeship programs can require considerable time and resources, the youth’s interest in the occupation
should be based on solid information. If necessary, career awareness and career explorations activities like
internships, job shadowing, or paid and unpaid work experience can be provided as WIA youth activities.
• Is the youth prepared to enter the world of work? Apprentices are employees, so each youth should be
prepared with the work readiness skills required to retain employment.
• Is the youth prepared to succeed in RTI? Many apprenticeship programs test applicants’ basic skills. If the
youth does not have the level of basic skills required for RTI, tutoring and basic skills remediation should be
• Does the youth already have technical knowledge and skills in the occupation? Some
apprenticeship programs require experience in the occupation or give preference to applicants with
experience. WIA youth activities can provide occupational skill training and assistance with job placement to
meet that requirement.
When a youth is placed in an apprenticeship program, WIA youth staff should provide other WIA youth services
• Supportive services can provide assistance with expenses the apprentice has to bear for OJT, including
uniforms, protective clothing or gear, tools, and transportation.
Youthwork Information Brief
• If the apprentice has to pay for RTI, RTI can be provided as occupational skill training.
• If the youth has not exited, other services should continue as specified in the youth’s ISS.
• If the youth has exited, follow-up services should be provided for at least 12 months (or longer if required or
allowed by local area policy).
Registered Apprenticeships Are a Win-Win
• Apprentices get paid while they learn an occupation that leads to self-sufficiency.
• Employers get employees with the occupational skills they need.
• Local areas get economic and talent development driven by local needs.
• WIA youth programs get a valuable tool to help youth make a successful transition to employment and
Bernard, R. (2006, February). The other four-year degree. Techniques, 81(2), 19-21.
Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.) Registered apprenticeship: Building a skilled
workforce in the 21st century. CD-ROM. Washington, DC: Author.
Cantor, J.A. (1997, Spring). Registered pre-apprenticeship: Successful practices linking school to work. Journal of
Industrial Teacher Education, 34(3), 35-58.
Crosby, O. (2002, Summer). Apprenticeships: Career training, credentials – and a paycheck in your pocket.
Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 46(2), 2-21. Retrieved October 10, 2007, from
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (2006, February 17). Common Measures for 4
Registered Apprenticeships the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) performance accountability system and related performance issues.
Training and Employment Guidance Letter 17-05. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved June 18, 2007, from
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. (2007, July 12). Leveraging registered
apprenticeship as a workforce development strategy for the workforce investment system. Training and Employment
Guidance Letter 2-07. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved October 17, 2007, from
Government Printing Office. (2007, October 18). Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.Title 29: Labor. Part 29: Labor
standards for the registration of apprenticeship programs. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/
Government Printing Office. (2007, October 18). Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.Title 29: Labor. Part 30: Equal
employment opportunity in apprenticeship and training. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/
Halpern, R. (2006, December). After-school matters in Chicago: Apprenticeship as a model for youth programming.
Youth and Society, 38(2), 203-235.
National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. 29 U.S.C. §50.
Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor. (2007, October 10). Program sponsors database. Washington,
DC: Author. Retrieved October 19, 2007, from http://oa.doleta.gov/bat.cfm
Office of Apprenticeship, U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Statistics for FY 2002-2006. Washington, DC: Author.
Retrieved October 10, 2007, from http://www.doleta.gov/OA/statistics.cfm
Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2007, from http://jfs.ohio.gov/apprenticeship/
Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. (n.d.) Apprenticeship:The other 4-year degree. Is your workforce prepared?
Columbus, OH: Author. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from
Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. (n.d.) Apprenticeship:The other 4-year degree.What is it? Common questions.
Columbus, OH: Author. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from http://jfs.ohio.gov/apprenticeship/apptshipFAQ.pdf
Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. (n.d.) Ohio State Apprenticeship Council (O.S.A.C.) service regions. Columbus, OH:
Author. Retrieved December 12, 2007, from http://jfs.ohio.gov/apprenticeship/ApprenticeshipServiceAreas.pdf
Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. (2007, October). Setting up an apprenticeship program: A quick overview for
potential sponsors. Columbus, OH: Author.
Research and Evaluation Associates and DTI Associates. (2003, July). A brighter tomorrow: Apprenticeship for the 21st
century. Washington, DC: Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services, U.S. Department of
Unions, contractors, and CTE. (2006, September). Techniques, 81(6), 30-33.
Youthwork Information Brief
Center for Learning Excellence
The Ohio State University
1900 Kenny Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Inspiring great youth work