The relationship between an educated citizenry and the health of our society continues to grow even stronger as our economy grows increasingly knowledge based. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2005), approximately 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the United States require at least some postsecondary education. For those with only a high school education and on-the-job training, the available jobs often do not pay the living wage necessary to comfortably care for oneself or raise a family. Many of these jobs do not offer essential benefits or opportunities for advancement, and they are often unstable jobs that lack job security. Consequently, families with lower-educated heads of household are often left economically vulnerable and at risk of financial devastation. In contrast, individuals with higher levels of education are better able to compete for higher quality jobs, earning an average of $19,100 more per year (in 2003) than individuals with only a high school diploma. They are also more likely to obtain jobs that provide better working conditions, essential benefits, opportunities for advancement, and job security.




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Apprenticeship Agreement: Prior to signing the apprenticeship agreement, each selected applicant must be given an opportunity to read and review the sponsor’s Apprenticeship Standards approved by the Office of Apprenticeship, the sponsor’s written rules and policies, the apprenticeship agreement, and the sections of any collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that pertain to apprenticeship. After selection of an applicant for apprenticeship, but before employment as an apprentice or enrollment in related instruction, the apprentice must be covered by a written apprenticeship agreement, which must be submitted to the Office of Apprenticeship. Such submission can be done electronically through the Registered Apprenticeship Partner Information Data System (“RAPIDS”), using the Apprentice Electronic Registration process, or on ETA Form 671. Sponsors will receive their username and login information for RAPIDS upon registration. The Sponsor must advise the Registration Agency within 45 days of the execution of each new apprenticeship agreement. The sponsor also must provide a copy of the completed apprenticeship agreement to the apprentice, the employer, and the union, if any. The sponsor must provide the Office of Apprenticeship a signed copy of ETA Form 671 indicating that the employer (if not the sponsor), the union (if applicable), and the apprentice have received the completed apprenticeship agreement. If the apprentice is a Veteran, the sponsor must provide an additional copy to a veteran’s state approving agency, for any veteran apprentice desiring access to benefits to which they are entitled.

Safety and Health Training:

All apprentices must receive instruction in safe and healthful work practices. Both on the job and related instruction are to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards promulgated by the Secretary of Labor under 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., or State standards that have been found to be at least as effective as the Federal standards.


An apprentice must be at least 16 years old unless applicable law requires a higher age. Sponsors may note additional minimum qualifications in Section B of their apprenticeship standards where appropriate. Sponsors are prohibited from using discriminatory minimum qualifications.


During the probationary period, either the apprentice or the sponsor may terminate the apprenticeship agreement, without stated cause, by notifying the other party in writing. The sponsor will keep the records for each probationary apprentice. Records may consist of periodic reports regarding progression made in both the OJL and related instruction, and any disciplinary action taken during the probationary period. Any probationary apprentice evaluated as satisfactory after a review of the probationary period must be given full credit for the probationary period and continue in the program.

When notified that an apprentice’s related instruction or on-the-job progress is found to be unsatisfactory, the sponsor will determine whether the apprentice should continue in a probationary status and may require the apprentice to repeat a process or series of processes before advancing to the next wage classification.

After the probationary period, the apprenticeship agreement may be cancelled at the request of the apprentice or may be suspended or cancelled by the sponsor for reasonable cause after documented due notice to the apprentice and a reasonable opportunity for corrective action. For all cancellations, the sponsor must provide written notice to the apprentice and, within 45 days, notice to the Office of Apprenticeship of the action taken.


Apprentices must be paid a progressively increasing schedule of wages during their apprenticeship based on the acquisition of increased skill and competence on the job and in related instruction. The progressive wage schedule, which may include fringe benefits, will be an increasing percentage of the fully proficient or journey worker wage rate as provided for in Section H and Appendix A of the Apprenticeship Standards. The journey worker wage rate will serve as the terminal wage that an apprentice will receive upon completion of the apprenticeship program. The entry wage must not be less than the minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (including overtime), where applicable, unless a higher wage is required by other Federal or State law or regulation, or by collective bargaining agreement. The number of steps in the progressive wage scale, as depicted in Appendix A, may vary based on the length and complexity of the registered apprenticeship. The schedule of wages must increase consistent with the skills acquired by the apprentice.

Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Obligations.

Sponsors are required to comply with the equal opportunity pledge in Section I and II of the Apprenticeship Standards. Sponsors with five or more registered apprentices must develop an affirmative action plan within two years of registration.
All sponsors have a duty to take affirmative steps to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship according to 29 CFR § 30.3(b). The sponsor will designate an individual or individuals responsible for overseeing the sponsor’s commitment to equal opportunity in registered apprenticeship, for monitoring apprenticeship activity to ensure compliance with EEO requirements, to maintain required records, and to generate reports.