Apprenticeship (state and federal)
Purpose of an apprenticeship program
An apprenticeship program is a formal training program created to give the enrolled worker on-the-job training and related technical instruction. The program is designed to produce workers that are fully competent in all aspects of an occupation.
Both state and federal apprenticeship laws allow employers to design their own program that provides an individual with specific skills, training, and job related instruction that are tailored to the company’s needs.
Qualifying factors for an apprentice and apprenticeship program to be recognized and considered "bona fide":
- The program must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Department of Labor.
- There must be a written contract between the apprentice and the sponsor approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Department of Labor.
- The apprentice must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Department of Labor; the contract must clearly define the length of training, which includes the number of hours, an outline of the skills to be learned and the compensation that the apprentice will receive.
An Apprentice on state and/or federal funded construction project
Contractor needs to demonstrate all of the follow five requirements, for an apprentice not to be subject to the state and/or federal total wage decisions incorporated into the contract.
- Contractor’s apprenticeship program is "bona fide."
- The apprentice is registered with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Department of Labor.
- The apprentice is performing the work of his/her trade.
- The ratio of apprentices to journeyman workers on the project is not greater than the state apprenticeship ratio or the agreed upon ratio in the apprenticeship agreement.
- The apprentice is compensated according to the rate specified in the program for the level of progress or a percentage of the federal wage decision base rate; fringe rate is subject to the terms of the agreement.
If a contractor fails to comply with the terms of the apprentice requirements mentioned above or fails to provide proof of a "bona fide" program, the contractor shall compensate the laborer or mechanic not less than the applicable total prevailing wage rate for the actual work performed and for all hours worked.
State ratio apprenticeship requirements
In the absence of a defined ratio, which means the number of apprentices to journeymen, the Minnesota Apprenticeship Advisory Council allows one apprentice for the first journeyman and one additional apprentice for each additional three journeymen; therefore, the ratio on projects funded in whole or in part with state and/or federal funds would be as follows:
- To verify whether or not a worker is a registered apprentice, contact the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's Apprenticeship Division at 651-284-5191. To find out more about apprenticeship programs, visit Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's Apprenticeship page.
Trainee requirements (federal-aid contracts only)
For federal-aid contracts only, a trainee program is also available.