Join Bridget Quinn for an in-depth discussion in this video What is an apprenticeship?, part of Skilled Trades: Construction Apprenticeship Foundations.
- Apprenticeship is often referred to as the original four year degree, and it's a way for an individual to acquire college level education while earning an income, and it ensures the construction industry is training the next generation of skilled craft workers. Now let's start off with a bit of a history lesson. Apprenticeship came about way back in the later Middle Ages. Generally, young people provided labor and in return, gained lodging and food while a master craftsman taught them their trade. Now here in the United States, two acts are notable for the regulation of apprenticeship programs. The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 provided federal funding to promote vocational training. And in 1937, Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Act, also known as the Fitzgerald Act. Intended to safeguard the welfare of apprentices. This act also provided the framework for programs of apprenticeship. This framework involves advisory committee's called JATC's. These committee's involve equal participation of the employers and of labor. JATC's established standards of minimum application requirements, scope of work, and required number of classroom hours and training hours spent on the job. You'll hear that referred to as OJT. Very importantly, they regulate health and safety, compensation, promotion of labor standards, and programs of study. Now, the 20th century saw an increase in trade unions, which were formed to protect workers and contributed to the development and increased use of personal protective equipment, things like hard hats, fall restraint gear, and respirators. - There's a huge demand of, specifically in construction, I have people talking to me every single week asking for a list of students that need a job. We have a HVAC program here at Reynolds High School. As soon as people hear that, they want a list of who's graduating so they can hire them. There are employers waiting to hire students coming out of these apprenticeship programs, or going into the apprenticeship programs, so I would say there's an absolutely huge demand. - Apprenticeship is the main path to becoming a journey level worker. Apprentices get to work out in the field side by side next to another journey level carpenter who teaches them everything they need to know about the skills and craft that they have chosen. - Registered apprenticeship is an combination of on the job training and classroom instruction. The standards of the apprenticeship program will specify the number of required hours for both. The majority of training occurs on the job. The apprentice is supervised while they work, and earn a wage. - It's just from here, this is a place that you can measure from (inaudible speech). - [Woman] So one of the cool things about apprenticeship is that you start work right away. So you're entering the workforce immediately. You're not sitting through four years of college thinking about something you may be doing later on down the road. You're actually training for the position that you want, and you're doing it in real time, working out in your community building structures. - Getting ready for an apprenticeship program is a combination of learning the skills that you need for that apprenticeship program. Not necessarily mastering them, but having the idea of what those skills are and trying them firsthand. It's also learning how to enter the employment world. - Apprentices work on actual job sites, and experience to satisfaction of entering the workforce immediately and being able to take pride in building their communities. The classroom setting provides an opportunity to learn the how's and why's about what is performed on the job, to ask questions, and to demonstrate mastery of his or her trade through performance evaluations and tests. Most apprenticeships take about two to five years to complete, but think about it, you're getting paid a living wage the whole time, as well as a range of benefits. You're building a network in the industry from day one, and you're not going to be burdened by typical college costs. You're going to finish your apprenticeship training program as a skilled, experienced worker, heading toward a lifelong career.