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> Apprenticeships > Funding Opportunities > Sector Initiative > Resources > Annual Report 2010

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

Introduction

The Virgin Islands Workforce System is in the process of renewing its Registered Apprenticeship program.

The Apprenticeship program is authorized under the US Department of Labor and its purpose is to stimulate and assist industry in developing and improving apprenticeship and other training programs designed to provide the skilled workers needed to compete in a global economy.

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by joint employer and labor groups, individual employers, and/or employer associations.

Office of Apprenticeship (OA) registers apprenticeship programs and apprentices in 23 States and assists and oversees State Apprenticeship Councils (SACs) which perform these functions in 27 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Government's role is to, first, safeguard the welfare of apprentices, second, ensure the quality and equality of access of apprenticeship programs, and third, provide integrated employment and training information to sponsors and the local employment and training community.

Benefits
Apprenticeship programs can benefit both the employer and the participant in many ways:

Employers
A well planned administered apprenticeship program will:

  • attract adequate numbers of highly qualified applicants
  • reduce absenteeism
  • reduce turnover
  • increase productivity
  • reduce cost of training
  • facilitate compliance with Federal and State Equal Employment Opportunity requirements
  • ensure availability of related technical instruction
  • enhance problem solving ability of craft workers
  • ensure versatility of craft workers; and
  • address industry’s need to remain competitive by investing in the development and continuous upgrade of the skills of its workforce.

Apprentices

Through the Apprenticeship Agreement, an apprentice, as an employee, receives supervised, structured on-the-job training (consisting of at least 2,000 hours depending on the occupation); combined with related technical instruction. Related instruction is a required component of an apprenticeship program which supplements the on-the-job training. A minimum of 144 hours per year is required for each occupation. The related instruction may be given in a classroom through trade, industrial or correspondence courses of equivalent value, or other forms of self study approved by the registration/approval agency.

Benefits include:

  • assures technical training under the guidance of a professional
  • identifies a planned training sequence
  • provides an increasing schedule of wages
  • improves job security

Upon completion of a one – four year apprenticeship, the worker receives an Apprenticeship completion certificate and is recognized as a qualified journey worker nationwide. This certificate is one of the oldest, most basic, and most highly portable industry credentials in use today. The Certificate is issued by a federally approved State Apprenticeship Agency or in those States not having such an agency, by the Office of Apprenticeship State Office.

Who Is Eligible to Participate in Apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship can be developed for youth, adults and dislocated workers. An apprenticeship can be used as part of a training strategy for at-risk youth or individuals transitioning to a new career. It can be part of a career development ladder or can operate as a stand-alone program for a specific employer.

Areas of Apprenticeship

There are many occupational areas registered with the National Apprenticeship Program, however; the Virgin Islands Workforce System encourages the development of Apprenticeship programs in the Territory’s demand occupation areas, specifically: Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, Healthcare, Hospitality, Homeland Security and Information Technology.

For more information on conducting an apprenticeship program
please contact us at 340-773-5237.


 

 

   
   
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