Apprentices occupy a unique spot in today’s workforce. Learning a trade is a much more involved process than simply going through orientation and training for a typical job position. It requires a long-term commitment on the part of the candidate and the sponsor. Because of this (and because different wage and hour rules apply to apprentices), there is quite a bit of government oversight for this category of employment.

The DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services (OATELS) handles the registration of apprenticeship programs at the Federal level and coordinates with states that have their own State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). Employers who wish to sponsor apprentices must create a set of standards and procedures covering on-the-job and classroom training that meet with the approval of the government. Apprenticeships are often sponsored through a union; but employers can also choose to implement this type of training program in non-union industries to ensure a continued supply of skilled labor.

Onboarding Apprentices

The DOL has a form that should be filled out and signed during onboarding. This contains personal and demographic information about the new hire and what trade is being taught. It also lists the program sponsor’s # and other identifying data, wage/hour information, and the tenure of the agreement. Section A of the form can only be completed by the apprentice, so this is a document that must be included in the new hire packet. SAAs may have their own forms that should be completed as well.

Upon hiring, each new apprentice must be registered with the relevant state/federal agency. That’s so the ratio of journeymen to apprentices and other requirements can be tracked. Also, the DOL will issue a certificate of completion to individuals who “graduate” from the employer’s program – so they have to know who is participating.

Like any other form, apprenticeship agreements and registration documents can be created in an electronic format that is suitable for use in our Universal Onboarding system. The ability to automate the flow of data to SAAs depends on each state’s reporting requirements and accepted data formats. Here at Emerald Software Group, we’re always looking for ways to help our clients streamline their onboarding processes; so contact us for more information on going “virtual” with your apprenticeship forms.

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