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Connecticut Apprenticeship

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Apprenticeship – The Other 4-Year Degree

Apprenticeship is a proven training strategy that improves the skills of our workforce and enhances the efficiency and productivity of our industries. Investment in the registered apprenticeship system is a wise use of government dollars, and pays for itself many times over. As the nation faces a critical shortage of skilled workers, expanding apprenticeship opportunities offers an effective approach to meet the needs of industry and our citizens in search of high-quality training and good jobs.

What is Registered Apprenticeship?

Registered apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with related classroom instruction to prepare highly skilled workers for American industry.  Apprenticeship, a proven training strategy that prepares skilled workers, helps America compete more effectively in the global economy, and contributes to our economic development, sustained economic growth and national security.

Who Does Registered Apprenticeship Serve?

Nationwide, 80,000 industries and companies offer registered apprenticeship training to more than 395,000 apprentices. In Connecticut alone, more than 3,400 employers and labor/ management committees employ over 4,500 apprentices in registered apprenticeship programs. These training programs serve a diverse population, including minorities, women, youths and dislocated workers. Currently, approximately 80% of all apprenticeship training positions are in the construction and manufacturing industries.  Experts agree, however, that apprenticeship has the potential to benefit numerous other industries, as well, including the service, retail, and the public sector. With this in mind, the possibilities for expanding apprenticeship -- and meeting the needs of many more American companies and citizens in search of high quality training opportunities -- are virtually unlimited.

Who Operates and Pays for Apprenticeship Training?

Registered apprenticeship programs are operated by private industry - employer or labor/management sponsors.  Program sponsors pay virtually all training costs as well as progressively increasing wages to their apprentices.  Registered apprenticeship programs range from one to six or more years in length. For the apprentice, this translates into an "industry scholarship" worth $40,000 to $150,000.  Since the content of the training program is determined by industry needs, apprenticeship produces workers with high demand skills.

What Role Does Government Play in Apprenticeship?

As a result of the Federal Apprenticeship Act of 1937, the federal government (specifically the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship Training, in cooperation with the states) oversees the nation's apprenticeship system. The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship Training is responsible for registering apprenticeship programs that meet federal and state standards. The agency issues Certificates of Completion to apprentices, encourages the development of new programs through marketing and technical assistance, protects the safety and welfare of apprentices, and ensures that all programs provide high-quality training to apprentices.

What is Government’s Return on Investment for Apprenticeship?

The government's return clearly outperforms other types of government-sponsored job training programs.  Apprentices “earn as they learn,” and wages paid totally by the private sector begin as soon as the apprentice enters training. Additionally, because apprentices pay income taxes on their wages, if all 5,500 Connecticut apprentices earn an average starting annual income of $20,800, this generates more than $4 million in state and $20 million in federal tax revenues. 

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