What is Apprenticeship?

What is APPRENTICESHIP?  Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. 

Apprenticeship programs are operated on a voluntary basis by employers, employer associations, or management and labor groups (unions). Federal and State Governments are also involved in that they promote the establishment of apprentice programs and provide technical assistance to program sponsors. The related classroom instruction is usually given in the program sponsor’s training facility. Most trades require three to five years to complete a program.

APPRENTICES EARN AS THEY LEARN!  The pay scale for apprentices is based on wages of a “Journeymen” (i.e., workers who have completed the program), and may start at about 35% to 50% of the Journeyman rate. Apprentices receive pay increases as they advance through the program. Such increases may occur every six months or every year. Additionally, there are fringe benefits, such as vacation, health and pension plans. 

WHO PAYS?  Apprenticeship programs are usually funded and administered by cooperative Labor-Management Committees (JAC’s). Industry funds the program with little or no cost to each apprentice.  Taxpayers do not foot the bill for most apprenticeship expenditures.


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