Tips for Setting up an Apprenticeship Program

As the price of college educations soar without the promise of gainful employment upon graduation, the trades offer workers an opportunity to earn a good living. The first step to a job as a skilled trade worker is often an apprenticeship. This can benefit your business by ushering in a generation of new workers as you bid farewell to retiring Baby Boomers.

How to Set Up an Apprenticeship Program

Once you’ve decided to start an apprenticeship program within your company, you’ll need to follow a few key steps. The following are highlights of the step-by-step guide from Apprenticeship USA. Your program must comply with specific state and federal guidelines to be considered an official apprenticeship program. You can also refer to the U.S. Department of Labor for more information. Consider the following steps as you set up your program:

  1. Identify Occupations for Your Program

    Apprenticeships work best for specific occupations that require a minimum of 2,000 on-the-job hours to learn them. You’ll need to consider other apprenticeships that already exist, plus how to measure competency in that occupation. Then, you’ll need to determine what you want apprentices to learn and who will provide instruction.

  2. Write Your Plan

    As you plan your program, you’ll need to write a plan for approval by either your state apprenticeship agency or the U.S. Department of Labor. Within your plan, you’ll need to list:

    • The work environment.
    • Ratio of apprentices to mentors.
    • Whether or not you’ll have a probationary period.
    • Pay during the apprenticeship and upon hire.
    • Frequency of performance review.
    • Who will perform reviews.
    • Minimum qualifications to enter the program.
    • Appointed supervision.
    • How to register the program.
    • Legal compliance.
  3. Register Your Program

    Once written and approved, your program needs to be registered with the DOL or your state agency. Then you can begin accepting applicants into the program.

Work With a Recruiter

Another way to find qualified candidates for your company is by working with a staffing agency that specializes in the labor market. You’ll be able to find potential employees in a fraction of the time it takes to post open jobs and search on your own. Staffing agencies provide the support that covers some or all of the hiring and onboarding process, so check with yours to determine what services are available.

Check Out LaborMax

We work with clients to place skilled labor and construction candidates. To learn more, contact us today!