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Workforce Strategies

MACWIC Apprentice Programs Q&A

By Lesley Parady, Workforce Development Manager, MassMEP

We’ve had a number of questions regarding the MACWIC and apprentice programs lately. Let’s start with question number oneā€¦

What is the difference between an apprentice program and a registered apprentice program?

When manufacturers say an "apprentice program" they, generally, are referring to a structured on-the-job training program. All manufacturers should have a structured on-the job training program. Job shadowing is not as effective as having standards and training individuals in an organized, monitored manner.

  • An apprentice is in the workforce from day one — training is coupled with work and productivity.

  • Apprenticeships allow employers to tailor their employee training to fit their specific needs: in their facility, on their equipment, in their environment, meeting their standards and goals.

  • An apprenticeship provides employers an internal career ladder and is a mechanism to promote current unskilled workers.

A "registered apprentice" program is a training program registered with the state or federal apprentice agency who overseas that a company sponsor is complying with the requirements of their apprentice program. Most notably, a registered apprentice program requires classroom training (approximately 144 hours per year) and an on-the-job training component (2,000 hours per year) which moves the apprentice through increasing levels of competency. Many registered apprentice programs have increasing wage steps as competencies are earned and/or college credit that can be applied toward a degree.

If you have questions or would like to know more about the MACWIC and its’ skills training program, call Leslie Parady at 508-831-7020 or visit: www.macwic.org

More information about registered apprentice programs can be found at the MA Division of Apprentice Standards.

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