Registered Pre-Apprenticeship in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Standards has been a state approving agency since 1945. We have registered over 50,000 apprentices since then and currently have a little over 5000 active apprentices registered.

Each registered apprentice program with five or more apprentices is required to conduct outreach to women and minorities as part of their Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action plans. There are also Responsible Employer Ordinances (REO's) in Massachusetts which require contractors to be affiliated with a joint or non-joint registered apprentice program as a condition of submitting a responsive bid on selected public works projects. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) language can also be included in the REO's requiring better utilization of women and minorities.

Our Division finalized our regulations and submitted them to the Department of Labor / Office of Apprenticeship (DOL/OA) for approval this past year. One of the additional items that we submitted for approval was registered pre-apprentice language to address the outreach requirements of REO's. The purpose of the regulation is to establish registered pre-apprentice programs that are better aligned with registered programs and to provide better outreach opportunities for the public and to ensure program compliance. Anyone can open up a pre-apprenticeship program without having a connection to a registered apprentice program. There will be an expectation by the pre-apprentice participants in unregistered programs that they will become apprentices after graduation however in order to become apprentices they will need access to jobs which registered apprentice programs can provide. The lack of coordination between the two different types of programs has resulted in pre-apprentice graduates not being properly prepared to enter an apprentice program. Because of this disconnect it was determined that there needed to be a registered pre-apprentice program component to the apprentice career track. Below is the step by step process to register a pre-apprentice program with the Division of Apprentice Training.

How to get started as a registered pre-apprentice

  • To register a pre-apprenticeship program with the Division of Apprentice Standards the applicants should follow the process below. The pre-apprentice program should provide its graduates with the skills needed to successfully pass the interview process in order to enter a full registered apprentice program. The fully registered apprentice sponsor will be either a single employer or a multi-employer group. These sponsors are the ones who eventually provide the jobs.
  • Keep in mind that pre-apprentices are not allowed to work on public construction projects until they are fully registered as apprentices.
  • The pre-apprentice program sponsor applicant should first meet with a willing registered apprentice sponsor and develop a memorandum of agreement which must include a pre-determined amount of articulated credit that will be given to each graduate who successfully enters the registered apprentice program.
  • Registered sponsors can have more than one memorandum of agreement with registered pre-apprentice programs. Registered apprentice programs should utilize registered pre-apprenticeship to enhance their EEO outreach efforts.
  • The registered apprentice sponsor must approve the curriculum of the pre-apprentice applicant in order to determine the proper amount of credit that will be articulated between the parties in the memorandum of agreement. Credit as an example, can be in the form of related training hours, elevation in the program or direct entry into the program.
  • If the registered apprentice sponsor withdraws its agreement with the pre-apprentice sponsor, the pre-apprentice will lose its registration with that sponsor and the Division of Apprentice Standards. If the registered pre-apprentice sponsor has memorandum of agreements with other programs those memorandum of agreements will not be affected.
  • The applicant can start the registration process once the memorandum of agreement is signed and the curriculum has been approved by contacting the Division of Apprentice Standards @ 617-626-5409 and requesting an application package or downloading it from the website.
  • The pre-apprentice sponsor will document the name, address, date of birth, phone number social security number of each graduate along with the program partner name, term of apprenticeship, graduation date and affirmative action questionnaire on a form supplied by the Division of Apprentice Training.
  • Each graduates' information will be entered into the apprentice tracking database so that when a graduate interviews and is selected by the articulation partner to enter an apprentice program the articulated credit will be identified and credited to the new apprentices record.
  • There are no fees associated with pre-apprenticeship which means that there are no apprentice photo ID's and no access to public works projects.

As an example, the registered pre-apprentice model is being utilized by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA). They will be using it to introduce residents of the BHA onto multiple projects they are managing. Their partners are the Boston Building Trades Unions and their apprentice programs. They will partner to run an eight week registered pre-apprentice program which will be part of an overall nine month evaluation and support program.

The Links below include the documents necessary to apply for a registered pre-apprenticeship program.