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Establishing an Apprenticeship Program

What is an Apprenticeship Program?

An apprenticeship program is formal arrangement where a worker is trained on-the-job earning wages while learning critical skills in a particular trade or profession.

  • Unlike traditional postsecondary education programs, apprenticeships are designed by and for the employer with a specialized focus on the unique needs of a specific job.


  • There are currently more than 1,200 occupations – including healthcare, information technology, transportation and energy – in which registered apprenticeships are utilized.

  • Once established, apprenticeship programs reduce turnover rates, increase productivity, lower the cost of recruitment and increase safety in the workplace of job site.

  • 97% of participating employers recommend registered apprenticeship as a training model.

Before You Begin: Find Partners

Collaborating with education and workforce organizations is a great way to get help with the overall operation of an apprenticeship. Every registered apprenticeship has one of these ‘sponsors’ that can help you identify the resources needed, as well as design and manage the program. There are five steps. The first step is to build it. 

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Why Register Your Apprenticeship?

The fundamental approach of registered apprenticeship can help your business structure an effective program, resulting in skilled workers who are recruited, trained, and retained for the specific needs of the organization. 

How you structure your program is entirely up to you. Apprentice Florida can help you find partners and get started. There has never been a better time to explore how a registered apprenticeship program can help you develop the workforce your business needs.

Setting Up Your Training Model
As you set up training for your apprenticeship program, you will need to decide how to model it.

A work-based learning model describes how an apprentice will move through your apprenticeship program and reach benchmarks as they progress. There are a few standard models for measuring progress, and which model your business will follow is entirely up to you. No matter which model you choose, it is important to remember that it can be completely customized for your business needs. For example, if you choose to establish a time-based program, you may decide hours need to be completed within a certain number of months, or that apprentices must also attend a certain number of classes through a local trade association. There are three options for customizing your very own apprenticeship program.


Apprentices complete a required number of hours. Outlines hours of on-the-job training to be completed on the job site. May also outline hours of related instruction at, for example, a community college or technical school.


Progress is measured by the skills apprentices learn. Set standards for demonstrated competency in skills and knowledge. Tests proficiency but does not require a certain number of hours or set a specific pace.

Hybrid Approach

Uses minimum and maximum number hour ranges. Ensures that apprentices progress at a certain pace and demonstrate competency along the way. Tests skills and measures the amount of time it takes to achieve them.

Decide Which Training Model to Follow

The training components in your apprenticeship program can be built out in different ways. Each of these models can be combined to create a completely custom program designed to produce the skills needed most at your organization. These are just some of the leading guidelines that can serve as the basis for your program. Apprenticeships are designed by the employer to train apprentices on the protocols, regulations, business practices and equipment that you use on the job every day.

Get Ready to Launch

Once your program is established – and ideally registered with a nationally recognized credential – you are ready to launch. There are a variety of things you can do to make recruiting go smoothly and promote your new offering to prospective apprentices. The work you do immediately before launch will set you up for success so you can sustain your program over time.

Things to Consider


Ensure that partners are aware of your timeline and invite them to collaborate with you.


Search for candidates and, once hired, register them with the Florida Department of Education.


Begin instruction and see your apprentices advance, gain knowledge and learn new skills.


Build on the value you’ve established with your apprenticeship program and recruit more apprentices if needed.


Promote your new program to attract high quality candidates and build credibility in your community.


You will be assigned a representative to help you meet registered apprenticeship requirements.


You have the flexibility to adapt your program to fit the needs of your business and its goals.
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