What is the purpose of the registered apprenticeship program?
The purpose of the registered apprenticeship program is to enable employers to develop and apply industry standards to training programs for registered apprentices that can increase productivity and improve the quality of the workforce. Apprentices who complete registered apprenticeship programs are accepted by the industry as journeyworkers. By providing on-the-job training, related classroom instruction, and guaranteed wage structures, employers who sponsor apprentices provide incentives to attract and retain more highly qualified employees and improve productivity. Certifications earned through registered apprenticeship programs are recognized nationwide.
How does the registered apprenticeship program work?
Employers can participate within an existing group program through program agreements called Participating Employer Agreements in merit shop programs, or called Collective Bargaining Agreements in union programs; or they can work with an Apprenticeship Training Representative (ATR) to develop a new program and sponsor it themselves. Sponsors of new programs define their own training standards with the assistance of experienced apprenticeship training representatives who monitor and coordinate the development and implementation of registered programs.
A single employer or a group of employers may choose to sponsor an apprenticeship program. Although sponsors define specific program standards, all registered programs must be aligned with industry occupational standards to provide authenticity and consistency in certification. Industry standards describe the skills to be mastered by workers to qualify for beginning-to-expert level occupations in various sectors of our nation’s economy. The more specific standards written by program sponsors also define the selection process, wages earned by apprentices as training progresses, length of time the employer will provide on-the-job training, and number of classroom instruction hours required.
Sponsors can elect to provide classroom instruction privately or enter into agreements with state-funded community colleges or school districts. Apprentices enrolled at public institutions are exempt from paying registration, matriculation, and lab fees. Unlike other workforce education programs offered at public institutions, sponsors select apprentices to participate in programs based on selection criteria that are defined in the program standards.
The length of a registered apprenticeship program varies from one to five years depending on occupation training requirements. In Florida, the majority of apprentices train in traditional construction programs such as electricity, plumbing, pipefitting, and heating and air conditioning installation and repair. However, there are many other programs that provide training for machinists, childcare workers, chefs, mechanics, information technology specialists, and other “non-traditional” trades.
Why would an employer choose to become a registered apprenticeship sponsor?
By sponsoring a registered apprenticeship program, employers can build employee loyalty, reduce the cost of training, attract more applicants, and improve productivity. Registered apprenticeship programs provide an opportunity for sponsors to share the costs of training through economy of scale and by using available federal and state resources to assist in developing and delivering training programs. Registered apprenticeship programs can attract more highly qualified applicants because they typically offer competitive entry-level wages for trainees and guarantee employment for a specific period of time. Employers have a direct influence on what apprentices learn through work processes and related classroom curriculum. Apprenticeship programs provide incentives that reduce absenteeism and turnover because apprentices are guaranteed increased wages as they progress through the program. The apprenticeship training program establishes a framework that can be utilized by employers for journeyworkers training regarding new applications and new materials in the industry.
How does an employer become a registered apprenticeship program sponsor?
Florida employers interested in sponsoring a registered apprenticeship program should contact the Apprenticeship Section. The office provides information about new and existing programs throughout the state. Employers can become a sponsor in an existing program or can work with apprenticeship training representatives to develop a new program. Sponsors of new programs define their own training standards with the assistance of experienced ATRs who monitor and coordinate the development and implementation of registered programs.
How does one become a registered apprentice?
Potential candidates must apply for registered apprentice positions. Admission requirements and eligibility vary by program because program sponsors define them according to their specific training needs. However, federal rules define minimum requirements and mandate that selection criteria be job related.
In Florida, there are approximately 200 registered programs.
Who oversees the approval of registered apprenticeship programs?
The Florida Department of Education, Division of Career and Adult Education, Apprenticeship Section is authorized to implement and oversee apprenticeship programs for state and local purposes. ATRs serve approximately 200 active programs throughout the state. They assist sponsors with program service delivery statewide. Florida's State Apprenticeship Advisory Council represents the apprenticeship community, advising the Department on matters relating to registered apprenticeship programs.
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