The Basics Of A Registered Apprenticeship

We recently had a chance to sit and talk with Russel Davis, Michigan State Director for the United States Director of Labor, Director of Apprenticeships. Russel shared what makes up an actual registered apprenticeship and breaks down what the five basic components of an apprenticeship, and how they differ from any other work-based trainings. 

A registered apprenticeship is an employee-driven model that combines on the job learning with related classroom instruction. It is a flexible training strategy that can be customized to meet the needs of any business. Apprenticeships allow someone to follow an ‘earn while you learn model’ which means apprentices earn wages while they work on the job, from day one. An apprenticeship can be anywhere from 1-5 years in length. 

Several popular industries include advanced manufacturing, construction, IT, healthcare energy. With 1200 apprenticeships occupations, ranging from 1-5 years of training, there are 5 basic components of a registered apprenticeship: Business involvement – employers are the foundation of every Registered Apprenticeship program. Structured On-The-Job Training Related Instruction – Apprentices receive on-the-job training from an experienced mentor for typically not less than one year. Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with technical education at community colleges, technical schools, apprenticeship training schools, provided online, or at the job site. Skill gains – apprentices receive increases in wages as they gain higher-level skills. National Occupational Credential – Registered Apprenticeship programs result in a nationally recognized credential — a 100% guarantee to employers that apprentices are fully qualified for the job.

There are a number of ways a registered apprenticeship can benefit an employer. From gaining highly skilled employees to reducing turnover rates while raising productivity and offering a more diverse workforce, companies across the county are realizing these benefits. Since there is not one model of Registered Apprenticeships – they can be customized to meet the needs of any business and can be used in both union and non-union workplaces. 

Some interesting facts we learned in the state of Michigan include:

-1200 sponsor programs

-30 new programs

-19,572 registered apprentices

-3,596 new apprentices

-1072 have finished, the bulk in construction

If you are an employer looking to start a registered apprenticeship program, learn more at