In 1937, the groundwork for the registered apprenticeship system was set by the Fitzgerald Act, which officially established the national apprenticeship system and empowered state agencies to register and administer apprenticeship programs. To this day, there are over 21,000 registered apprenticeship programs across the nation and over 500,000 apprentices working in those programs.1 With significant federal support being directed toward the apprenticeship system from the new administration, we see little signs of these workforce development programs slowing down. In his recent executive order, the president doubled the amount of money allocated for apprenticeship grants to $200 million a year.2
So, why is it important to register your apprenticeship and what do you need to know in advance? We’ve laid out the answers to your most frequent questions below.
What does it mean to register your apprenticeship? And why do it?
By registering your apprenticeship, your business validates that its program fulfills the national standards set by the U.S. Department of Labor – or federally-recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies – and will result in a nationally-recognized industry credential for your apprentices. In addition to the national recognition, employers can receive a variety of other benefits by registering their program, including tuition support, tax credits, complimentary federal resources, and access to the entire ApprenticeshipUSA network.3
What role will the government play in my registered apprenticeship?
No matter whether your apprenticeship is registered at the national or state level, the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) or your State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) will work with your business to administer the program. Responsibilities of the governing bodies include ensuring the programs continues to meet the outlined standards, protecting the safety and welfare of apprentices, issuing credentials and certifications, and promoting the development of new programs through marketing initiatives and assistance.4 Because of this, employers may receive augmented support with their registered apprenticeship that they may otherwise not have access to.
What do I need to know before beginning the process?
1. Check that the occupation you want to register is an apprenticeable trade.
Though people often gravitate toward skilled trade occupations when thinking about apprenticeship, the fact is that there are over 1,000 apprenticeable trades recognized by the Department of Labor. Check the full list of apprentice occupations here. Generally, apprenticeable occupations are those that are learned practically through on-the-job, supervised training with a component of related instruction, involve the acquisition of manual or technical skills, and are commonly recognized throughout an industry. While many skilled trade industries like manufacturing and construction fall into these categories, industries hosting apprenticeships also include healthcare, hospitality, and information technology.
2. Determine whether your state registers apprenticeships at the state or federal level.
In the U.S., there are twenty-five states, in addition to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rick, who have recognized state apprenticeship operations. To know where to begin your apprenticeship registration process, it’s important to know what agency you need to reach out to in advance. In the image above, you will see the breakdown of states by state-registered or DOL-registered to know where to begin.
Contact Penn Foster today to learn how we can help you set up an apprentice program at your business!