What Exactly is an Apprenticeship?
Registered Apprenticeship is a highly structured training system in which the apprentice works full-time (40 hours per week) during the day for a sponsoring employer, learning the skills of the trade (through On-the-Job Training with a journeyworker/mentor). Apprentices earn a progressive wage - as their skills increase, their wages increase (usually every 6 months). The beginning wage rate is at least 35% of the journeyperson’s hourly rate, and the ending wage is no less than 75% of the journeyworker’s hourly wage rate. In no event shall the apprentice wage rate be less than the minimum wage prescribed by the Fair Labor Standards Act, collective bargaining agreements or by Florida Statutes, whichever is higher. There are both union (joint) and non-union (non-joint) programs, and group and non-group programs. Each is required to abide by State and Federal Apprenticeship Rules and Regulations.
A minimum of 144 hours of related instruction for each year of apprenticeship is required. Related instruction is organized related supplemental instruction in technical subjects related to the occupation. Most programs utilize local technical schools or community colleges for the related classroom instruction. Programs may also provide their own related instruction to its apprentice. Depending on the trade, the program can last 1 to 5 years, with the average at 4 years. Registered Apprenticeship is a commitment of a few years; not suitable for someone who cannot commit to a long-term training program.
- Paid Job - Apprentices are paid employees who produce high-quality work while they learn skills that enhance their employers' needs.
- On-the-Job Learning- Develops skilled workers through structured learning in a work setting.
- Classroom Learning - Improves job-related skills through education in a classroom setting (virtual or in-person).
- Mentorship - Provides apprentices with the support of a skilled worker to assist and enhance critical hands-on learning.
- Credentials - Offers a portable, nationally-recognized credential to be issued at the completion of the program.