I'm an Employer/Sponsor Interested in Registered Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality training approach that allow employers to develop and prepare their future workforce. Completely customizable and utilized in industries ranging from manufacturing and the building trades to healthcare and information technology, apprenticeship is a solution to the growing need for skilled labor.

The Basics

Registered Apprenticeship (RA) is a structured education and training program that takes place in the workplace and includes formal on-the-job training (OJT) and classroom-based, related technical instruction (RTI). An apprentice is a full-time, paid employee of the sponsoring organization from the start of the program. An apprenticeship must include at least 2,000 hours of OJT and a required 144 hours of RTI, but can last anywhere from 1 to 6 years.

An apprenticeship is not an internship, nor is it a short-term training program. Apprentices work full-time and are paid a wage that is subject to minimum wage regulations, but may begin below that of incumbent worker. As the apprentice hits milestones such as completing a certain number of program hours or demonstrating job competencies, their wages increase according to the agreement signed by the employer and the apprentice at the beginning of the program.

The Benefits of Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship is an effective way for businesses to ensure an ample supply of well-qualified, highly trained workers by engaging directly in their preparations, education and training. Unlike traditional postsecondary education programs that are designed to prepare students for any number of careers and generally focus more on theory than practice, apprenticeship is designed by and for the employer and is highly specialized to meet the unique needs of a specific job. Because apprentices learn primarily in the workplace, they are trained using the same state-of-the-art equipment that they will use on the job. Moreover, they will be instructed and mentored by skilled workers who have done the job the apprentice is training to do and who will ensure that apprentices are acculturated to workplace norms and expectations. Those who complete a registered apprenticeship receive a credential that is nationally recognized as a mark of distinction.

Employers that support apprenticeship training within their organization generally report the following benefits from their apprenticeship programs:
  • Filling vacancies that otherwise couldn’t be filled due to skills gaps among available workers
  • Attracting a broader range of candidates and diversifying the workforce
  • Improving employee moral and loyalty - thus reducing turnover
  • Ensuring that workers are trained to the employer’s standards using the employer’s equipment and protocols
  • Shortening the amount of time before new employers are productive
  • Decreasing error and accident rates
  • Ensuring that the knowledge and experience of aging workers is transferred to the next generation of workers

Why Register Your Program?

Graduates of apprenticeship programs receive a national, industry-recognized credential, and registration means the program has met national and independent standards for quality and rigor. Registration tells prospective employees, customers and suppliers that the business invests in its workforce and believes employees are its most important asset.

Only registered apprenticeships have access to certain federal and state funding programs, such as the GI Bill (which provides supplemental support to veterans engaged in apprenticeship), the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (which may provide wage reimbursements to the employers or wrap around services for apprentices) and PA workforce development grants.

Create A Registered Apprenticeship Program

Registering your program is easy, and involves four main steps:

Step #1: Develop your apprenticeship program
Step #2: Complete your registration paperwork
Step #3: Register your apprenticeship program with the State
Step #4: Launch and maintain your program

Detailed instructions for each of these steps are contained in the Registering a Apprenticeship Program in PA guide. As you begin to develop your program, please reach out to your regional Apprenticeship & Training Representative (ATR), who can provide additional assistance as you register your apprenticeship program.

Resources

Provides a quick overview of apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs for employers.
Provides a 4-step process overview of how to register an apprenticeship program in PA.
This detailed guide on registering your apprenticeship program in Pennsylvania includes step-by-step instructions to developing your program, completing your registration paperwork, registering your program with the state, and launching and maintaining your program.
Standards are the Sponsor's written plan outlining all terms and conditions for the recruitment, selection, employment, training, and supervision of their apprentices. It specifies the legal requirements of all Registered Apprenticeship programs, and includes details of your specific program.
Appendix A contains the details of your training plan. This includes the Work Process Schedule, which specifies the competencies the apprentice will learn during their on-the-job training (OJT), and information on the program's Related Technical Instruction (RTI), including who will provide the classroom training. It also specifies the minimum wage scale for apprentices in the program.
The Apprentice Agreement contains the apprentice's personal, demographic and employment information. It also specifies the rate at which an apprentice's wages will increase as they progress through the program.
Sponsors with five or more registered apprentices are required to adopt an Affirmative Action Plan aimed at increasing the recruitment of qualified women and/or minorities for possible selection into the apprenticeship program. A sample Plan is available as a template for sponsors that do not already have one.
Sponsors with five or more registered apprentices are required to adopt Qualification and Selection Procedures that define how apprentices will be selected. Sample procedures are available as a template for sponsors that do not already have one.
Employers who join a Group Sponsorship complete an Employer Acceptance Agreement. It contains information similar to what is included in Appendix A, but is specific to the employer who is joining the Group-sponsored program.
Sponsors prepare this document to help present their program to the PA Apprenticeship & Training Council (PATC).
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This time-based template can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This competency-based template can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This hybrid template can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This time-based example can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This competency-based example can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Apprenticeships can be time-based, competency-based or hybrid, depending on how the apprentice's progress towards mastering competencies is measured. This hybrid example can help sponsors develop their work processes.
Job books helps monitor your apprentice's progress as they complete their on-the-job learning. Use this template to create a customized job book based on your apprenticeship program's work process.
Provides best practices for starting and managing apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs.
A quick guide summarizing the various roles in Registered Apprenticeship and the tasks associated to each role and partner.
This template provides a suggested format to outline the job related technical instruction of a Registered Apprenticeship Program.
Sponsors with five or more registered apprentices are required to adopt an Affirmative Action Plan aimed at increasing the recruitment of qualified women and/or minorities for possible selection into the apprenticeship program, the Workforce Analysis Worksheet is a required portion of an affirmative action plan.

Funding Opportunities

Registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships have access to a growing number of federal and state funding programs that can support your training, including the GI Bill (which provides supplemental support to veterans engaged in apprenticeship), Pell Grants (which can cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies) and the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (which may provide wage reimbursements to the employers or wrap around services for apprentices). The PA Department of Labor & Industry also makes supports apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs through its PAsmart and Apprenticeship State Expansion (ASE) funding initiatives. Please refer to the resources below for the latest opportunities.

Resources

Provides an overview of funding resources available for apprenticeship programs in PA.
This quick guide provides information for companies, employers, labor, apprenticeship sponsors, educators, workforce professionals, intermediaries and community-based organizations on using Federal funds and resources to support registered apprenticeship.

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