Apprentice Selection and Details:
Now that you have a strong pool of candidates applying to your program, the apprentice selection process begins. It is critically important that your selection process be objective and consistent. In your standards, you described the process—which may have included an interview, pre-tests, etc.—each candidate will go through. As always, the apprenticeship program does not supersede your company’s human resources policies, but it is usually a good idea to make your apprentices selection process more rigorous than your standard hiring procedure. Ideally, every apprentice you hire is agreeing to invest their time and energy into your company, and vice versa. It’s essential that this agreement isn’t entered into lightly.
For additional suggestions and strategies for selecting apprentices, see The Apprenticeship Assessment Process, the Manufacturing Institute Apprenticeship Playbook, and the Greater Oh-Penn’s Apprenticeship Flow.
An apprentice’s wage scale must be progressive and not less than the minimum wage stated in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The scale must reflect the skill level of the apprentice.
The wage scale can be based on monthly increments or by hourly increments; for example an apprentice may see their first wage increase after an assessment of skill at month 12 in the program or after hour 250 in the program, depending on the model chosen (time or competency-based). A Base Skilled Wage Rate must be decided in order to establish the wage increase scale.
Apprentice wages are tied to progress in the program; increases must be issued when an apprentice successfully completes a performance period (determined in the Standards of Apprenticeship) or an assessment. Minimum increases are set in the standards; however, apprentices can and should receive wage increases in congruence with their progress. In other words, exemplary apprentices may receive increases above the minimum.
Probationary periods are designed to allow the employer/mentor and the apprentice time to learn one another and for the apprentice to make the necessary adjustments required to begin working successfully. This is separate from your company’s probationary periods for new hires. Generally, apprenticeship probationary periods are between 90 and 180 days from the start of their apprenticeship program. If an apprentice should decide to dissolve the apprenticeship within the probationary period, it will not have a negative impact on the apprenticeship program.
Pennsylvania Apprentice Selection: If your company is registering its apprenticeship in Pennsylvania, and you have fewer than five apprentices, you do not have to document your apprentice selection process in your standards.