Apprenticeship programs are a practical workforce development tool used by companies in such industries as advanced manufacturing, industrial technology, maritime, transportation, and logistics, to name a few.
What is an apprenticeship?
A Registered Apprenticeship is a training system that produces highly skilled workers to meet the demands of employers competing in a global economy. It combines on-the job (OJT) training with related academic instruction that is strategically delivered to accelerate career development in a particular field.
Apprenticeships are officially registered through the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry or the U.S. Department of Labor, and result in the award of a nationally recognized industry credential.
Apprentices are hired as full-time employees of a sponsoring company. They are supervised and mentored by highly-qualified personnel. Sponsoring companies maintain a progressive schedule of wage increases to reward apprentices as they gain experience and master new skills.
Benefits of an apprenticeship program
- A highly-skilled workforce
On-the-job training combined with job-related educational instruction enables talented employees to realize their full potential. Apprenticeship programs are also a strong selling point in recruiting new employees to an organization.
- Standardized training and operational consistency
Registered apprenticeships allow employers to build structured training programs, ensuring reliable workforce performance that consistently meets organizational standards.
- Improved employee retention
Organizations that demonstrate an investment in their workforce realize an increase in overall employee morale and motivation.
- Increased productivity and quality
As apprentices apply their skills and knowledge to their work, they positively impact an organization’s bottom line through higher quality output and increased productivity.
- Bench strength for future leadership
Many industries struggle with the talent gap caused by an aging workforce. Registered apprenticeship programs help companies transfer knowledge from seasoned employees to new workers.
Registered Apprenticeship - minimum requirements
An apprenticeship program must meet the following criteria to be considered a Registered Apprenticeship:
- 2,000 hours minimum term of apprenticeship
- 144 hours minimum related academic instruction per year (average)
- Program length may range from 1 – 6 years. Average apprenticeship is 3 - 4 years
- Apprentices must be supervised and mentored by qualified personnel
- Program must be developed so that apprentices master a comprehensive list of defined skills and competencies relevant to chosen occupation
- Progress towards the mastery of skills and competencies is reviewed and documented at regular intervals
- Wages increase as skills and productivity increase
Want to see if apprenticeship would work for your company?
Tidewater Community College’s Apprenticeship Institute can help you create a program that results in your desired workforce outcome by:
- sharing best practices and recent innovations
- facilitating connections with other regional employers and apprenticeship subject matter experts
- identifying available funding incentives
- assisting in the development of an apprenticeship related instruction curriculum.
Apprenticeship Institute staff are eager to assist you in meeting your goals. Contact Todd Estes, Director of TCC's Apprenticeship Institute at 757-822-1784.
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