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Getting Started with Pre-Apprenticeship

What is a Pre-Apprenticeship?

Pre-apprenticeship programs lay the foundation for future apprentices by preparing qualified candidates with academic knowledge and skills training tailored to specific jobs and   industries while contributing to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce.

Each pre-apprenticeship program establishes a connection to an existing apprenticeship program and delivers both hands-on and instructional-based learning through a variety of unique program designs and approaches. Through these programs, pre-apprentices are provided with the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized credential while having access to support services and career counseling.

Pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of diverse populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

These programs have increased value to underrepresented populations and those with barriers to employment, and are designed to give the skills, confidence, and connections they need to be successful.

What are the benefits to establishing a pre-apprenticeship program?

Pre-apprenticeship programs provide pre-screened, ready-to-work employees who have been trained in the specific skills employers need. Employers often face a considerable challenge developing the talent pipeline to fill middle-skill jobs. Pre-apprenticeship addresses this and can save employers valuable time and money on recruiting and training new employees and reduce turnover, because employees arrive with an understanding of the job, the tasks they will be expected to perform, and the pre-employment screening they need to pass. Pre-apprentices also arrive with a grounding in safety and other basic training that prepares them to receive additional on-the-job training specific to the employer’s needs.

Reductions in turnover rates that are associated with pre-employment training programs can be as high as 50 percent.

High-quality pre-apprenticeships in construction have seen apprenticeship retention and completion rates as high as 80 percent, about 25 percent higher than the national apprenticeship retention rate in the industry.

How do I get started?

The Apprenticeship and Training office is here to help! We can provide support and guidance to help you address all elements of establishing a pre-apprenticeship program – from creating partnerships to curriculum development. Find out how, visit the CONTACT section below.

If you are interested in registering your training program for pre-apprenticeship sponsorship please fill-out and submit the Pre-Apprenticeship Application Package

How do I learn more?

CONTACT the Apprenticeship and Training Office via email at RA-LIATO-APPR-TRAIN@pa.gov to learn how to get started.

VISIT the U.S. Department of Labor’s website to identify partners including leading apprenticeship sponsors, or Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium members near you.

READ about successful pre-apprenticeship partnerships with employers, a pre-apprenticeship program housed at a college, and a pre-apprenticeship program run by a union association.

EXPLORE strategies to build partnerships with employers via a partnership with JFF-Jobs for the Future. They offer an employer engagement toolkit, as well as diversity talking points for outreach to potential employer sponsors.

WATCH a video about pre-apprenticeship partnerships.


If you are interested in a Registered Apprenticeship Program or would like to learn more about them please visit our Apprenticeship and Training Office home page.





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