According to the apprenticeship about page from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, an apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a professional. A program that helps and trains workers to learn the different aspects of a highly skilled occupation. After completing an apprenticeship program, the worker’s status provides an additional benefit of nationwide mobility.
Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by joint employer and labor groups, individual employers, and employer associations. The sponsor of an apprenticeship program plans, administers, and pays for the program. Frequently, organized labor unions also participate in the sponsorship of apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships were traditionally associated with jobs in construction, precision, craft and repair, but are now available in hundreds of occupations.
What Is An Apprentice?
According to Chapter 296-05 WAC: Apprenticeship Rules, effective December 19, 2014, an apprentice is a worker at least sixteen years of age who is employed to learn an apprenticeable occupation and is registered with a sponsor in an approved apprenticeship program and an apprenticable occupation is defined as a skilled occupation which is recognized by the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Apprenticeship or the WSATC and meets the criteria established in WAC 296-05-305.
In order to ensure the apprenticeship standards remain highly successful in its strategy to develop successful talent, the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration have published revised regulations that provide a framework that supports an enhanced, modernized apprenticeship system.
Five Reasons Why Young Professionals Should Participate in Apprenticeships
Apprenticeship Washington has five good reasons why young professionals should participate in apprenticeships, and why employers should provide youth with the opportunity. Apprenticeships give future professionals the opportunity to:
- reach their personal best potential
- develop a practical skill they can use
- earn money while learning a skill
- experience opportunities that might not be available to students or young pre-professionals who have not had apprenticeships- making them more competitive and leading to higher wages
- be primed to be the best in their field of choice
Benefits of Employers Offering Apprenticeships
Likewise, the Department of Labor encourages employers to offer apprenticeships because its program, ApprenticeshipUSA, offers employers in every industry the tools to develop a highly skilled workforce to help grow their business. Employers can hire, train or retain a skilled workforce through the implementation of apprentice partnerships.
The dual benefits to both young pre-professionals and employers make apprenticeships the ideal symbiotic relationship. Employers gain a competent workforce that is trained to the company’s individual standards, and young pre-professionals gain invaluable experience that will make them more competitive in their job hunt and the future of their industry.