What is apprenticeship
A registered apprenticeship is an employer-sponsored flexible training program that cultivates highly skilled workers who meet workforce demands. It is a form work-based, post-secondary training that produces the skills and competencies necessary to perform work to an industry-established standard.
Work-based learning occurs under the direction of a qualified journeyperson and combines structured on-the-job learning (80 to 85 percent) with theoretical instruction (15 to 20 percent).
As a paid employee, an apprentice earns a progressively increasing wage during apprenticeship.
What DAS does
We regularly convene industry stakeholders to review and maintain the written standards that govern the scope and structure of apprenticeships.
We monitor all apprentice training programs across Massachusetts to ensure that apprentices are working in safe working environments, are paid correctly and are receiving both on-the job training as well as related education classes.
Note that DAS does not conduct training or place apprentices in jobs
Building trades and expansion industries
Traditionally, DAS has overseen apprenticeship programs in the building trades. This is still very much the case, but we’ve also expanded our mission to encourage the development of apprenticeship programs in new industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and technology. Our work to expand apprenticeships is driven by the Apprenticeship Expansion Plan 2018, and seeks to:
- Expand Registered Apprenticeship to new industries and occupations in order to meet employer demand throughout Massachusetts
- Diversify the pool of apprentices within all industries in order to provide access to quality employment for all citizens of the Commonwealth
History of apprenticeship
Apprenticeship in the U.S. functioned as an unregulated system until 1937
The apprenticeship method of training,with a skilled worker passing on craft knowledge to another, is almost as old as recorded history. Since the middle ages, skills have been passed on through a master-apprentice system in which the apprentice was contracted to the master for a specified period of years. The apprentice usually received food, shelter and clothing in return for the work the apprentice performed. Despite its binding status, there was little oversight or regulation of the indenture (contract).
Apprenticeship in the U.S. functioned as an unregulated system until 1937, when the Fitzgerald Act was passed which was the country’s first apprenticeship law. With safeguards for both the apprentice and employer, the federal government developed a system of registered apprenticeship. Also in 1941, the Massachusetts legislature established the state’s apprentice training department. From 1941 to present day, thousands of apprentices have gone through the system and have contributed positively to the state’s economy.