April 26, 2023

Registered Apprenticeships Toolkit for Clean Energy Employers

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) are a key tool for developing, scaling, and sustaining a diverse pipeline of trained talent ready to power the transition to a clean energy future. This toolkit is intended to provide employers and other stakeholders with the background information and supplemental resources needed to implement RAPs to develop a clean energy workforce.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship recognizes IREC as an Apprenticeship Ambassador.

Overview

Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) are a key tool for developing, scaling, and sustaining a diverse pipeline of trained talent ready to power the transition to a clean energy future. Through a customizable, employer-driven, earn-while-you learn training model, RAPs help address critical workforce challenges while creating inclusive pathways to family-sustaining clean energy careers in a wide variety of occupations. This toolkit is intended to provide employers and other stakeholders with the background information and supplemental resources needed to implement RAPs to develop a clean energy workforce. 

Although RAPs have historically not been widely utilized by clean energy employers, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), and various legislative and regulatory measures at the state level, are quickly changing the workforce development landscape across the clean energy industry. The IRA requires apprentices enrolled in RAPs to make up a minimum percentage of the construction labor on commercial energy efficiency measures and large-scale clean energy projects (≥ 1MW) to receive the full value of the available tax credits / deductions  (12.5% of all “laborers and mechanics” for projects commencing in 2023 and 15% in 2024 and beyond). While this federal requirement is focused on the physical labor for commercial and utility-scale projects, RAPs are also an effective workforce development tool for companies working in the residential sector, and for occupations outside of manual construction trades. 

What is a Registered Apprenticeship Program

An apprenticeship is a career path whereby employers develop their workforce through a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) under the supervision of a mentor, and related technical instruction (RTI) delivered in-person or virtually by a knowledgeable teacher. Apprenticeships are a time-tested and powerful tool for workforce development that has been used throughout history to train people in occupations that require extensive practical experience to master. 

A Registered Apprenticeship Program is an apprenticeship program that has been validated to meet the standards defined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and/or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). RAPs must operate according to these standards, follow applicable laws and regulations, and maintain recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Upon the completion of a RAP, the individual is issued a nationally-recognized credential by the DOL that recognizes them as a skilled practitioner for the occupation. A RAP typically takes between 2-5 years to complete, and in many ways the credential earned is similar to a degree issued upon completion of college education in a particular field of study.

Key Components of a Registered Apprenticeship Program

INDUSTRY-LED Apprenticeable occupations are industry-vetted and approved to ensure alignment with industry standards, orientation toward commonly recognized in-demand occupations, and consistency of training and experience requirements across programs. 

PAID JOB Apprentices are paid employees who receive wage increases at predetermined intervals as they gain knowledge, skills, and experience.

STRUCTURED ON-THE-JOB LEARNING AND MENTORSHIP Apprenticeships developed skilled workers through structured learning in a work setting with guidance and oversight from a skilled and experienced mentor.

SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION Related instruction in a classroom setting (virtual or in person) supports attainment of job-related knowledge and skills.

DIVERSITY Apprenticeship regulations ensure RAPs have strong non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and recruitment practices to ensure that access, equity, and inclusion principles are thoroughly embedded.

QUALITY AND SAFETY Apprentices are covered by workplace protections while on the job and are provided with rigorous training in the knowledge and skills they need to be safe.

CREDENTIALS Upon completion, apprentices earn a portable, nationally recognized credential issued by the DOL, and may earn additional industry certifications during the program.

Benefits to Employers and Workers

The “earn while you learn” model makes RAPs an effective tool for recruitment and retention,  particularly for veterans (who can receive GI Bill benefits to participate), transitional job seekers, young workers, and other disadvantaged populations. RAPs can be used by employers to document worker qualifications and may meet licensing requirements for certain occupations. RAPs have been proven to lower employee turnover, increase productivity, and improve safety. Direct financial incentives to help cover costs associated with hiring and training apprentices, including tax credits and grants, are available from local, state, and federal sources. 

Meeting Federal and State Apprenticeship Requirements

Apprenticeships have long been utilized as a path to licensure, with individuals needing to complete a RAP (or equivalent) as one of the requirements to become a licensed contractor or worker in almost every state. The IRA instituted new apprenticeship and prevailing wage requirements for clean energy projects at or above 1 MW, and commercial energy efficiency projects of any size, to realize the full value of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Production Tax Credit (PTC), and Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction. To be eligible for 5 times the base tax credits, or the full 30% ITC and 1.5 cents/kWh PTC, projects commencing construction in 2023 need 12.5% of construction labor hours to be provided by registered apprentices, increasing to 15% in 2024 and thereafter. All construction “laborers and mechanics” working on the project also need to be paid prevailing wages, with apprentices paid at the rates stipulated in their RAP. 

Steps to Launch or Participate in a Registered Apprenticeship Program

  1. Identify the Apprenticeable Occupation(s)
  2. Determine the Program Sponsor
  3. Choose the Approach and Duration
  4. Create a Work Process Schedule and Training Plan
  5. Develop Program Requirements and Policies
  6. Register the Program
  7. Recruit, Hire, and Train Apprentices
  8. Reporting and Record Keeping

1. Identify the Apprenticeable Occupation(s)

Over 1,000 occupations have been recognized by the DOL as being apprenticeable. An apprenticeable occupation is one that is: commonly recognized throughout an industry; customarily learned through structured and supervised on-the-job learning that involves the progressive attainment of skills and knowledge; and requires at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning (i.e., one year, full time) and at least 144 hours per year of related instruction to become proficient. Apprenticeships have typically been utilized in “crafts” or “trades,” where extensive hands-on experience is required to become a “journeyperson,” but apprenticeships can be used in many lines of work and have been growing rapidly in fields such as information technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. Many professional roles can also be taught through an apprenticeship, including those in design, sales, project management, customer service, and operations. 

An important concept to keep in mind is that apprenticeships are intended as a starting point for a career in a particular occupation. Their purpose is not to simply teach someone how to do a specific job function. Like a college degree, an apprenticeship should provide someone with a broad and comprehensive set of knowledge and skills for them to apply in an ever evolving field of practice, craft, or trade. In other words, apprenticeships should prepare someone for a career, not train them for a job. While a minimum of one year of training is required, the majority of apprenticeships take two or more years to complete, with those in the construction trades often taking four or five years to complete.

Occupations that are involved in solar installation that are currently recognized as “apprenticeable” include: Construction Craft Laborer, Electrician (Inside Wireman), Electrician (Lineman), Electrician (Residential Wireman), Operating Engineer, Carpenter (Pile Driver), Roofer, and Iron Worker. Additional, non-construction related occupations a solar company may utilize include Technical Sales Representative, Designer Drafter (Electrical), Operations Manager, Customer Service Representative, Maintenance Repairer, and Human Resources Specialist / Recruiter.

If the occupation an employer needs for their workforce is not already approved as apprenticeable, there is a process for recognizing a new occupation. However, this can be a long and extensive process to ensure consensus across an industry that is typically spearheaded by an industry trade association or organized labor union. More often than not, an already approved occupation’s work process schedule (WPS) can be modified to meet the needs of the employer and the career goals of the worker utilizing a related occupation. A WPS refers to the outline of the on-the-job learning (OJL) and related technical instruction (RTI) needed to complete the apprenticeship.

In order to balance flexibility for individual employers with industry-wide standardization and consistency across all RAPs for the occupation, federal regulations allow for an approved WPS to be modified by up to 25%. For example, while the occupation of Solar Installer has consistently been recognized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, the Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeships does not recognize the occupation as apprenticeable. The occupations of Electrician, Construction Craft Laborer, Roofer, Carpenter, Energy Auditor, and Wind Turbine Technician have all been approved to train people in the installation of solar energy systems through a registered apprenticeship. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship considers solar installation to be a task that is performed by these occupations rather than an occupation of its own that can be learned through an apprenticeship. It is expected that most employers will find utilizing a combination of the Construction Craft Laborer and Electrician occupations to develop apprenticeship programs for Solar Mechanical Installers and Solar Electricians, respectively, will provide career pathways for most of those engaged in solar installation work. 

2. Determine the Program Sponsor

The sponsor of an apprenticeship program is the entity that registers the program with the Office of Apprenticeship (OA) or State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). The sponsor is responsible for the program’s operations and administration, ensuring compliance with regulations, enforcing the program’s policies, maintaining records, and reporting. While every RAP requires the participation of an employer to provide OJL under the supervision of a mentor, and to pay the apprentice progressive wages as they progress through the apprenticeship, the employer may or may not be the sponsor. A sponsor can be an individual employer, consortium of employers, educational institution, union, trade association, or other entity like a nonprofit community-based organization. That said, some SAA states do have more stringent criteria on who can sponsor RAPs, and may, for instance, not allow individual employers to sponsor apprenticeships in the construction trades. 

Some employers choose to administer their own program in-house so they have full control of the program, while others find it helpful to partner with another entity to handle the program management and administration. Sponsors are required to comply with Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) subpart A, part 29, “Labor Standards for the Registration of Apprenticeship Programs,” and part 30, “Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship,” in addition to any state-specific regulations in those states that have them. If the employer is the sponsor, they will have to develop all of the program requirements outlined in this document, take responsibility for managing all aspects of program operations and reporting, and ensure related instruction is available to and completed by apprentices. If the employer chooses to join a group-sponsored program or programs, then they and their apprentices will have to follow the requirements that have been set by the sponsor, including utilizing the related instruction specified by the program.

Program Sponsor Options

  1. Employer Sponsored: Create, register, and administer an apprenticeship program in-house. RTI may be provided in-house and/or in cooperation with one or more educational institutions. 
  2. Group Sponsored: Employers join a program sponsored by another entity. Existing program sponsors are only approved to manage apprenticeships for certain occupations for which they have a defined and approved work process schedule. Approved RAP sponsors have the ability to add additional occupations to their program, but employers seeking to hire apprentices in different occupations may need to enter into agreements with multiple sponsors.
    • Group Joint (Labor-Management): The program is sponsored by a joint apprenticeship committee including representatives of labor (typically organized in a union) and business management (often through a business or trade association). In most joint programs, participating employers must be a member of the association and have an agreement with the labor union, but other examples of programs jointly managed by workers and employers do exist.
      • Examples: IBEW & NECA; LIUNA & signatory contractors; UBC & signatory contractors; Oregon Renewable Energy Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC)
    • Non-Joint: A variety of options exist for multiple employers to participate in a RA that is sponsored by a third-party who does not formally include workers in the program decision making or administration. Most commonly, these are sponsored by a business or trade association for the benefit of its members, or by an educational institution that provides related instruction, but a variety of other options are possible, including forming a partnership with a consortia of employers or contracting with a nonprofit organization to manage the program.
      • Examples: associations (e.g. Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors, Independent Electrical Contractors, Western Electrical Contractors Association); community colleges and technical schools; and nonprofit community-based organizations.

3. Choose the Approach and Duration

RAPs can be time-based, competency-based, or a hybrid of the two. Historically, apprenticeships have largely been time-based, and all RAPs need to be designed for occupations that require at least a year (2,000 hours) of on-the-job training to achieve competency. Apprenticeships in the construction trades are often four years (8,000 hours), or the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, with others aligned with time frames of two years (4000 hours, associate degree equivalent) or five years (10,000 hours, master’s degree equivalent). Lately, there has been growing interest in competency-based approaches, particularly in new industries and those that have not widely utilized RAPs. A competency-based program requires the apprentice to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities to complete the job functions related to the occupation. Generally, the employer is able to determine how competency is assessed, but some states may require a third party to evaluate the apprentice’s competency to avoid a conflict of interest. A hybrid-based RAP uses a combination of competency verification and a minimum amount of OJL. 

The Work Process Schedule (WPS) and Related Instruction Outline (RIO) define the education requirements that need to be met by the apprentice to complete the program through both OJL and RTI. Broadly, the apprenticeship system works to ensure everyone completing a program for the same occupation has completed a similar amount and type of training and work experience, but each program does have some flexibility to cater the training to local employer needs. DOL has model WPS frameworks available for each occupation and sponsors can modify these by plus or minus 25%. This allows for some variation in the duration and focus of the training, while maintaining a level of standardization and consistency from program to program. Solar companies may, for instance, modify an electrician program to have more emphasis on the design, installation, and maintenance of solar, storage, and EV charging systems, while reducing training on topics like industrial motors and controls or commercial lighting systems. The training plan provides an outline of the anticipated courses, expected learning objectives, and estimated hours for each course. RTI must be at least 144 hours per year. Sponsors also need to decide whether apprentices will be paid while attending RTI courses or not. The sponsor’s Apprenticeship Standard should also make clear who will be responsible for any costs associated with the RTI, such as tuition, books, and supplies. While not mandated by federal regulations, some states require the sponsor to pay apprentices for time completing RTI and/or to cover tuition and other costs. Best practice, particularly for ensuring disadvantaged populations successfully complete the program, is for the program sponsor to cover all associated costs for RTI and pay employees for attending required classes.  

5. Develop Program Requirements and Policies

Registered apprenticeship programs must comply with state and federal regulations, including  Title 29 CFR part 29, and part 30. To do so, they need to be managed according to documented policies, and records must be retained to verify that the policies are being followed. All policies must be available to an apprentice and those considering an apprenticeship position. The sponsor must draft an Apprenticeship Standard to define requirements the apprentice must complete, and the policies that they and the sponsor are expected to follow in relation to the apprenticeship. The sponsor’s Apprenticeship Standard must be submitted to, and approved by, the U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship (OA) and/or a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) prior to hiring an apprentice. 

The DOL has resources to help create an Apprenticeship Standard that meets the requirements, including an online Standards Builder and a Reference Guide for Sponsors. Technical support is available through apprenticeship coordinators with the DOL or SAA, as well as through contracted “intermediaries.” When developing a new apprenticeship program, attention must be given to the following topics, each of which must be documented in the Apprenticeship Standard.      

Apprenticeship Agreement: After being selected, but before being hired as an apprentice, an individual must sign a Apprenticeship Agreement, acknowledging that they understand and agree to the Apprenticeship Standard and related policies. The agreement must then be submitted to the DOL, and the state Veterans Affairs office if the individual is a veteran seeking GI Bill benefits. It can be submitted electronically using the DOL’s Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Data System (RAPIDS) or Form ETA-671. Apprentices must also be given the opportunity to disclose any disabilities, which may or may not need accommodation to be provided by the employer and/or training provider.       

Safety and Health Training: Apprentices must be provided with safe working conditions and the appropriate training and personal protective equipment to work safely at all times in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Additionally, the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations for registered apprenticeships require all of those engaged in the RAP, including apprentices; their mentors, supervisors, and management; and others who regularly work with them, are provided with anti-harassment training. Additional health and safety education and certifications may be incorporated into the Standard as needed to ensure the apprentices are fully prepared to perform the job safely.

Eligibility Requirements: Program sponsors may implement minimum eligibility requirements that candidates must meet to be qualified to participate in the program, provided the requirements are non-discriminatory in nature. Requirements may include factors such as age, education, and physical capabilities. Unless applicable law requires a higher age, apprentices must be at least 16 years old, with those under 18 required to receive permission of a parent or guardian. Any additional requirements should be directly related to the job to be performed, such as being able to perform certain physical activities common to the occupation, completion of a certain level of mathematics to be able to complete the required RTI and job duties, passing a particular aptitude exam, or the ability to read, write, or speak a certain language. An apprenticeship program is intended to train someone over a year or more to become a skilled practitioner, so eligibility should not be based on prior experience doing the job, but rather on the key factors required to be able to learn the profession. Restrictive eligibility requirements will impact the number of people applying for available apprenticeship positions. Pre-apprenticeship programs can be developed to help interested individuals meet the eligibility requirements and become familiar with the type of work involved in the occupation, in order to increase the number of qualified applicants and help ensure their success in completing the program if selected.

Credit for Prior Experience: Sponsors may allow prior experience to count toward the OJL and RTI. This may be particularly relevant to new programs where incumbent workers are to be enrolled in the program. Experience need not be from another RAP to count, but the sponsor should ensure that whatever experience is utilized is equivalent to the program requirements. If credit for prior experience is allowed, it must be offered to all apprentices equally and granted fairly and in a similar fashion for all. Credit shall be awarded following the defined probationary period (see below), during which time the documentation for the experience should be reviewed, and the subsequent knowledge and skills of the apprentice be evaluated to ensure appropriate credit is, or is not, granted. Apprentices that receive credit will progress to the appropriate stage of the program and be paid the associated wages and benefits of that stage. In no circumstances can prior experience result in an apprenticeship duration of less than six months.     

Probationary Period: Every apprentice must complete a probationary period, during which both the apprentice and the sponsor may terminate the apprenticeship agreement without cause. The probationary period is typically around one quarter of the length of the program. If during the probationary period an apprentice’s performance in OJL and/or RTI is unsatisfactory, but both the sponsor and apprentice remain committed to them completing the apprenticeship, they may be required to complete additional OJL or repeat related courses before moving to the next wage step (see Wage Schedule, below). 

Apprentice to Journeyworker Ratios: The Apprenticeship Standard must define ratios of apprentices to journeyworkers. A journeyworker is someone who has obtained the knowledge and skills to be able to competently perform the job tasks associated with the occupation without supervision themselves. Apprenticeship ratios are one of the most significant factors constraining an employer’s ability to hire and train new apprentices. The ratios must be set for the first apprentice, and for each additional apprentice after the first. A program that requires one journeyworker for the first apprentice and three journeyworkers for each additional apprentice would be written like this: (1:1; 1:3), and would require at least seven journeyworkers to be able to employ and train three apprentices. Ratios defined in the Apprenticeship Standard must be maintained at all times when apprentices are working on the job. Ratios may be limited by state and/or federal policies or regulations, and by collective bargaining agreements. Ratios for construction-related work will likely need to be no more than one apprentice to one journeyworker (1:1), particularly for new programs. Ratios for each additional apprentice in the construction trades often require more than one additional journeyworker, such as three journeyworkers to each additional apprentice (1:3), but the requirements are highly dependent on the ratios that have been approved for the occupation, and many states require a higher ratio of journeyworkers to apprentices, even the first apprentice..    

Wage Schedule: Apprentices are paid employees who “earn while they learn.” Apprenticeship Standards must define the minimum wages apprentices will be paid, including fringe benefits. Apprentice wages must increase at defined intervals as apprentices progress through the program gaining more knowledge and skills. The frequency of increases may vary by the length of the apprenticeship program. Programs are required to have at least one wage step, and general practice is for no more than one year between steps. Typical starting wages are set at around 40-60% of those paid to journeyworkers, and increase to 75-95% of journeyworker wages during the last period, but can vary based on market conditions or collective bargaining agreements. Apprentices must complete all specified OJL and RTI to progress to the next level, and they must be advanced when they do meet the requirements. Employers may pay apprentices higher wages than specified in the Standard, but may not pay them less, and under no circumstances can apprenticeship wages be less than minimum wage. 

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action: Sponsors must include an EEO Pledge as part of the Apprenticeship Standards. This commitment must also be provided to all new employees and publicly posted for all applicants and employees to see. All sponsors must take steps to ensure equal opportunity for apprenticeship employment and designate at least one individual to oversee the EEO efforts and monitor, document, and report on progress. Programs with at least five or more apprentices must implement an affirmative action plan within two years of initial registration, or within two years of hiring their fifth apprentice.  

Dispute Resolution Process: Apprenticeship sponsors must notify all applicants for apprenticeship positions and all apprentices of their right to file a complaint related to discrimination or harassment in the application for an apprenticeship or participation in the apprenticeship program. The sponsor must also maintain a process to resolve complaints related to other non-EEO or anti-harassment provisions of the Apprenticeship Standard. The Office of Apprenticeship will handle complaints related to an apprenticeship that are not able to be resolved by the sponsor, in addition to all of those related to discrimination or harassment.  

Collective Bargaining Provisions (if applicable): If apprentices will be covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the Apprenticeship Standards must be provided to the union representing them. When submitting the standards for registration, the union will generally be expected to sign off on the Standards or to provide written comments for consideration of the apprenticeship agency.

6. Register the Program

Before an employer or other program sponsor can recruit and hire apprentices, the program needs to be registered with the appropriate apprenticeship agency or agencies. Around half of the states manage their own apprenticeship agencies; these states are known as SAA states. The other half utilize the federal DOL Employment and Training Administration Office of Apprenticeships, and are known as OA states. Programs for occupations that have state licensing requirements will typically need to be registered with each state in which apprentices will be working, while other occupations may be registered through a National Program Standard if the sponsor plans to operate the program in three or more states. With regard to federal purposes, such as meeting IRA tax credit provisions, SAA states are required to provide reciprocity for apprenticeships registered with the OA or another state. However, states may require the programs to meet additional requirements. These could include higher apprentice to journeyworker ratios, requiring the sponsor to pay for RTI time and expenses, or enforcement of higher minimum wages. To obtain benefits from a state, such as state income tax credits or state workforce development and training funds, the programs need to be registered with that state. To connect with the appropriate OA or SAA apprenticeship consultant and register a new program, go to www.apprenticeship.gov/employers/registered-apprenticeship-program/register

Once the program is registered, it is strongly recommended that it also be registered with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to become “Approved for the GI Bill(R)”. Doing so ensures that veterans who participate in the program may access the GI Bill benefits they are entitled to. Eligible veterans who participate in an VA-certified RAP may choose to use their GI Bill benefits to receive housing allowances and reimbursement for educational materials and supplies. Registration with the VA is done through the State Approving Agency in the state where the program is headquartered. A list of State Approving Agencies can be found at https://nasaa-vetseducation.com/nasaa-contacts/. Any program that does recruit or hire a veteran is required to engage in a good faith effort to have the program approved for benefits. 

7. Recruit, Hire, and Train Apprentices

Once the sponsor receives approval for the RAP from the appropriate apprenticeship agency, they may begin recruiting, hiring, and training apprentices in accordance with the provisions of the approved Apprenticeship Standards. If an employer is participating in a group-sponsored program, they will need to coordinate with the program sponsor on the procedures for apprentice enrollment, which may or may not allow the employer to identify eligible candidates or enroll incumbent workers in the program. 

Apprentice recruitment and selection must be conducted in a fair and open process. In alignment with the EEO pledge, sponsors are required to engage in “universal outreach” for recruitment of apprentices. To do so, they must maintain a list of recruitment sources that together can reach all demographic groups within the relevant area. This list must be updated at least annually with contact information for each recruitment source, and sources must be provided with advance notice of any available apprenticeship openings. Sponsors may have additional affirmative action steps outlined in their Affirmative Action Plans. Candidate selection must be conducted without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age (above minimum eligibility requirements), genetic information, or disability. 

Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Many apprenticeship programs utilize some form of pre-apprenticeship program as a component of the recruitment process. Pre-apprenticeships can take many forms, but they are typically required to have a written agreement in place with a RAP to be eligible for various funding streams. They often are designed to help meet recruitment goals for diverse populations. Pre-apprenticeships usually offer training to meet minimum eligibility requirements and provide participants with exposure to the type of work that is performed in the occupation, helping them understand what to expect if accepted as an apprentice. Pre-apprenticeship or other types of partnerships can also be designed to provide support for apprentices after enrollment in the RAP to help ensure successful completion.      

8. Reporting and Record Keeping

In order to verify compliance with apprenticeship rules and regulations and the approved Apprenticeship Standard, RAP sponsors must maintain records on all aspects of the program, from candidate recruitment through program completion. Information related to outreach and recruitment efforts, candidate applications, selection process, interviews, and offers for employment as an apprentice should document compliance with EEO and demonstrate that all candidates met the minimum eligibility requirements. During the apprenticeship, records must document OJL for each hour of work, job assignments, job conditions, performance evaluations, compensation, and any changes in apprenticeship status. Completion of related instruction, and documentation of other training provided, including required anti-harassment and safety training, must also be maintained. Regular reporting on the status of apprentices, from hiring through program completion, is reported to DOL through the Registered Apprenticeship Partners Information Database System (RAPIDS).

Resources

Many resources are available to help employers develop or expand apprenticeship programs. The websites of the U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship and each State Apprenticeship Agency are the first place to go. Free technical assistance is available from Apprenticeship Coordinators at the U.S DOL and each state that runs an SAA. The DOL regularly funds organizations through grants and contracts to provide additional technical and financial support for apprenticeships, often with a sector, regional, or topical focus to meet identified needs, such as increasing women and minority participation in programs or bringing apprenticeship programs to emerging industries. Financial assistance may also be available to directly support employers, training providers, and apprentices from a variety of sources. 

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Website has a wealth of information available on all aspects of apprenticeships for employers, job seekers, education providers, and others engaged in the apprenticeship system:

Quick Start Toolkit: Building Registered Apprenticeship Programs
Gain an overview of the apprenticeship system and the steps to take to create or join a program.  

Apprenticeable Occupations
Identify occupations that are approved for apprenticeships (and many that are not approved), and download example work process schedules.

Partner Finder
Search to view approved sponsors, education providers, and more.

Standards Builder
Use this online tool to create and submit an apprenticeship program for approval. The page also contains a Tutorial, User Guide, and Requirements for Apprenticeship Reference Guide.

Apprenticeship System
Identify which states operate their own State Apprenticeship Agency and which utilize the U.S. DOL Office of Apprenticeship.

Veterans Fact Sheet for Apprenticeship Sponsors
Learn how to register your apprenticeship program with the Department of Veterans Affairs to be “Approved for GI Bill”.

Grants Awarded
Search to find Intermediaries and others who have received DOL funding to support apprenticeships.

Inflation Reduction Act Resources
Find links to resources related to meeting the apprenticeship requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The Federal Resources Playbook for Registered Apprenticeships
Use this guide to explore federal funding related to registered apprenticeships.

Other Resources

Workforce GPS Apprenticeship Community of Practice
Workforce GPS is the online technical assistance resource supporting the U.S. Workforce System, and includes an online “community of practice” with lots of resources for those involved in the apprenticeship system. 

Internal Revenue Service Inflation Reduction Act Page
Find the latest guidance, interpretations, tax law changes, notices, and FAQs related to the labor provisions (and other requirements) of the IRA.

Inclusive Clean Energy Apprenticeships
The Partnership for Inclusive Apprenticeships has resources to help those involved in apprenticeships ensure their programs and practices are inclusive of people with disabilities.

Youth Apprenticeship Intermediary Project
Find resources on partnering with high schools, colleges, and others to engage youth ages 16-21 in apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs.

Contact Us

For more information, contact IREC Program Director Richard Lawrence or Senior Program Manager Megan Howes at [email protected].

Disclaimer: This toolkit was developed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) with support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) under the Solar Ready Veterans NetworkTM award numbers DE-EE0008577 and DE-EE0010493. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.