Wisconsin apprenticeship program started in 1911

Comments Comments Print Print
Gazette staff
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Wisconsin's apprenticeship system began in 1911, the same year as the founding of the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Here are some common questions about the system with answers provided by the Wisconsin Technical College System:

Q: What is apprenticeship?

A: Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation.

Q: What is an apprenticeable occupation?

A: Federal Regulations define an apprenticeable occupation as one that:

-- Is customarily learned in a practical way through a structured, systematic program of supervised on-the-job training.

-- Is clearly identified and commonly recognized throughout an industry.

-- Involves manual, mechanical or technical skills and knowledge and requires a minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job work experience.

-- Requires related instruction to supplement the on-the-job training. Such instruction may be given in a classroom, through correspondence courses, self-study or other means of approved instruction.

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Applicants must be at least 18, have a high school diploma or equivalent and meet required norms on aptitude tests, if required.

Q: How long does it take?

A: Apprenticeships can be as short as two years for some occupations. In most apprentice occupations, both the classroom instruction and on-the-job training is three to five years.

Q: What are the costs?

A: In Wisconsin, an apprentice is paid a salary while learning. The employer also may pay for schooling. Pay averages 60 percent of the salary of a skilled worker.

Q: Are there specific requirements?

A: In the service and manufacturing industries, the applicant must apply directly to an employer.

Construction apprenticeship is usually coordinated through an area apprenticeship committee, which has the authority to select and place apprentice applicants. They recruit, screen and refer qualified applicants to area employers.

Q: What's the first step?

A: To become an apprentice in Wisconsin, a person must first be indentured by the state Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. Becoming indentured requires applicants to choose which trades are of interest and find out the qualifications of that area.

Comments Comments Print Print