On December 6th the Council of Industry held an information session for members interested in the New York State Registered Apprenticeship Program. While it was well attended, there maybe be some members that were not able to attend but are interested in receiving more information.
The NYS registered apprenticeship program has two basic requirements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, skilled worker capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner.
The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a trade. This related instruction component requires apprentices to complete 144 hours of classroom or online training per year.
The process to complete an apprenticeship can take between 16 months and 4 years, but exceptions can be made for someone with previous experience.
Where do the apprentices come from?
Existing Employees – Tools for Retention
An apprentice can be an existing employee who you are seeking to retain or develop for advancement. In this case, your current employee would have access to free online and classroom training to augment the on the job training provided. This model lends itself to the continuous development of employees while backfilling entry-level staff with a clear path for skills development.
New Employee – Career Path Opportunity
Companies can enroll their newly hired employee into an apprenticeship program. This allows new employees a formalized skills development path, access to additional training resources and onboarding assistance.
Searching for New Talent – Recruiting Tool
Job seekers are looking for steady work with the opportunity for advancement. Many job seekers are drawn to apprenticeships and jobs posted as ‘apprenticeable’ traditionally receive more applicants. If you are unsure where to start to recruit potential apprentices, learn more about our recruiting initiative and our candidate pool resources.
Incentives…Incentives and More Incentives
It’s a great time to implement an apprenticeship program. We have partnered with various organizations to offer incentives to registered apprentices.
- SUNY Apprenticeship Grant – Registered apprentices may have the opportunity to receive up $5,000 worth of courses at SUNY Community Colleges.
- WDI, Workforce Development Institute – WDI is offering up to $2,000 per registered apprentice to offset the trainers time.
- NYS Tax Credits – NYS offers $2,000+ tax credit per apprentice; this amount increases each year eventually offer $5,000 per apprentice.
- Free online training – Each registered apprentice receives a Tooling U license to complete online trade specific training. $500+ value.
- Administrative help – The Council of Industry manages the administrative aspects of the program. This includes registration, department of labor requirements and setup.
What’s in it for the apprentice?
Upon completion, the apprentice will be registered with the department of labor as a certified tradesman. For example, an apprentice who completes 8,000 hours as a CNC apprentice will receive a certification from NYS DOL and a pocket card identifying him as a Certified CNC Machinist. The apprentice will also earn foundational knowledge and skills to increase their income and potentially qualify for future advancement.
What’s in it for the company?
Most of our members indicate that workforce is their number one concern. Many of them also indicate they are hiring and training on the job. The apprentice program allows companies to enhance their current training program while creating a clear pathway that makes sense to job seekers and employees alike. Companies participating in the program are always training and developing the skills of their employees, this allows them to fill jobs from within and build the talent they need instead of hoping to find the unique skills necessary to fill positions. It is a retention tool to keep employees engaged and a recruiting tool to help differentiate your company.
The on-the-job training is done with someone from your company that already performs that trade and can be the journeyman for the apprentice to learn from. The program requires between 4,000 and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training dependant on the trade. An internship or previous training in that trade can count towards these hours. Much of this time is not instructional but time that the apprentice practices the skills taught by the journeyman while performing his work tasks. Hours are logged each day by the apprentice in relation to which skill was covered during that day’s labor.
The related instruction portion of the training can be done through an online training program called Tooling U, which is free to registered apprentices or through the local community colleges which also are offering related instruction free to registered apprentices. Time spent on this instruction can be paid or unpaid as determined by the company. The apprentice is required to complete 144 hours of related instruction each year.
There is a wage progression required as the apprentice becomes more skilled, but the company sets the starting wage and the rate of progression. Since this is a government backed program anyone that completes it will have a national certification. This is an excellent tool for companies looking to recruit people into these trades and a good way to keep people that are already showing potential.
The Council of Industry is the only organization in the Hudson Valley able to act as a sponsor and administrate this program. We are also in the process of creating a pipeline of possible apprentices but for now, it is best to consider someone you already have working at your company that has potential and interest in becoming a master of one of the trades above.
Even if you are on the fence about registering an apprentice you can still start the paperwork so that once you are ready to go it is a shorter process. There currently is no charge to register an apprentice but there this is something that may change in the future. There is also no penalty for changing your mind. If an apprentice is not working out, you can discontinue the program or switch to a new person and start over. It is relatively painless to register and just requires meeting with Johnnieanne, the Apprentice Coordinator for The Council of Industry, and signing a few papers. If you still have a question or better yet are ready to sign up, contact Johnnieanne Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 565-1355.
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