The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Apprenticeship describes these elements in “A Quick Start Toolkit: Building Registered Apprenticeship Program,” which we refer to throughout the Blueprint:
Employer Involvement: Employers are the foundation of every apprenticeship program and the skills needed by their workforce are at the core. Businesses must play an active role in building the program and be involved in every step in designing the apprenticeship.
On-the-Job Training: Every program includes structured on-the-job training. Apprentices get hands-on training from an experienced mentor at the job site for typically not less than one year. On-the-job training is developed through mapping the skills and knowledge that the apprentice must learn over the course of the program in order to be fully proficient at the job.
Related Instruction: Apprentices receive related instruction that complements on-the-job learning. This instruction delivers the technical, workforce, and academic competencies that apply to the job. It can be provided by a community college, a technical school, or an apprenticeship training school – or by the business itself. Education partners collaborate with business to develop the curriculum based on the skills and knowledge needed by apprentices. All partners work together to identify how to pay for the related instruction, including the cost to the employer and other funds that can be leveraged.
Rewards for Skill Gains: Apprentices receive increases in pay as their skills and knowledge increase. Start by establishing an entry wage and an ending wage, and build in progressive wage increases through the apprenticeship as skill benchmarks are attained by apprentices. Progressive wage increases help reward and motivate apprentices as they advance through their training.
National Occupational Credential: Every graduate of a Registered Apprenticeship program receives a nationally-recognized credential. As you build the program, keep in mind that apprenticeship programs are designed to ensure that apprentices master every skill and have all the knowledge needed to be fully proficient for a specific occupation.