Consider Sponsoring an Apprenticeship for Difficult-to-Fill Positions

November 14, 2022

National Apprenticeship Week begins on Nov. 14.

In the current competitive job market, it can be difficult to recruit eligible applicants for open positions. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) helps interested cities find and create the right apprenticeship programs to meet their needs. DLI has 185 active apprenticeship programs, with the most common occupations being in utilities, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and some in information technology.

Why should I consider an apprenticeship program?

Some occupations with certain technical and training requirements can be harder to recruit for. An apprenticeship provides the opportunity for existing workers in the field to train someone into the job. Apprentices increase the success rate, with approximately 28% passing certification exams on their own and 92% passing with an apprenticeship program.

What occupations should I consider for an apprenticeship?

Two common occupations for apprenticeships are electrical utility workers and water and wastewater operators. The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) administers an apprenticeship program for cities and towns for power and electric utility workers, using curriculum from Northwest Line College. The Minnesota Rural Water Association (MRWA) is an apprenticeship program for wastewater and water system operators, utilizing curriculum from the National Rural Water Association.

How long do apprenticeships last?

The length of an apprenticeship program depends on the occupation. Apprenticeships working with MMUA are four-year, 8,000-hour programs. Apprenticeships with MRWA are two-year, 4,000-hour programs.

What is required of cities to host an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship programs will require an existing staff member to supervise the apprenticeship.

Who should I contact if I am interested in an apprenticeship?

Interested cities can contact MMUA or MRWA directly. Cities can also work with the Department of Labor and Industry, which can provide technical assistance for coordinating a program.

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