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Pre-apprenticeship services and programs are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in Registered Apprenticeship programs. These programs have a documented partnership with at least one Registered Apprenticeship program sponsor and together, they expand the participant’s career pathway opportunities with industry-based training coupled with classroom instruction.


Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for participants to:

  • Explore and learn about exciting careers
  • Qualify to meet the minimum standards for selection to a Registered Apprenticeship program
  • Benefit from classroom and technology-based training
  • Get a start on career-specific training with viable career pathway opportunities
  • Build your literacy, math, English, and work-readiness skills employers desire
  • Advance into a Registered Apprenticeship program

Pre-apprenticeship training is a great way for employers/sponsors to:

  • Streamline the recruitment process
  • Pre-screen a qualified, job-ready apprentice pool
  • Diverse pool of prepared candidates
  • Align training with apprenticeship standards
  • Increase retention rates for registered apprenticeship participants
  • Quality control over preparatory training

Success Factors

Employers/sponsors can support pre-apprenticeship programs by:

  • Articulating eligibility requirements and qualifications
  • Serving on advisory committees
  • Offering guidance and expertise
  • Outlining industry standards
  • Sharing state-of-the-art technology

Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors can collaborate with and support pre-apprenticeship programs by:

  • Collaborating on assessment, curriculum and preparatory training
  • Helping to set quality standards
  • Helping to establish competency models and training goals
  • Considering direct entry and advance placement agreements
  • Developing memoranda of understanding

Characteristics of quality pre-apprenticeship programs

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs contribute to the development of a diverse and skilled workforce by preparing participants to meet the basic qualifications for entry into one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs. Through a variety of unique designs and approaches, pre-apprenticeship programs can be adapted to meet the needs of differing populations being trained, the various employers and sponsors they serve, and specific opportunities within the local labor market.

The pre-apprenticeship quality framework

Pre-apprenticeship is defined by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program and has a documented partnership with at least one, if not more, Registered Apprenticeship program(s). A quality pre-apprenticeship program is one that incorporates the following elements:

  • Approved Training and Curriculum. Training and curriculum based on industry standards and approved by the documented Registered Apprenticeship partner(s) that will prepare individuals with the skills and competencies needed to enter one or more Registered Apprenticeship program(s);
  • Strategies for Long-Term Success. Strategies that increase Registered Apprenticeship opportunities for under-represented, disadvantaged or low-skilled individuals, such that, upon completion, they will meet the entry requirements, gain consideration, and are prepared for success in one or more Registered Apprenticeship program(s) including the following:
    • Strong recruitment strategies focused on outreach to populations under-represented in local, state, and national Registered Apprenticeship programs;
    • Educational and pre-vocational services that prepare individuals to meet the entry requisites of one or more Registered Apprenticeship programs (e.g. specific career and industry awareness workshops, job readiness courses, English for speakers of other languages, Adult Basic Education, financial literacy seminars, math tutoring, etc. ); and
    • Assists in exposing participants to local, state and national Registered Apprenticeship programs and provides direct assistance to participants applying to those programs;
  • Access Access to Appropriate Support Services. Facilitates access to appropriate support services during the pre-apprenticeship program and a significant portion of the Registered Apprenticeship program;
  • Promotes Greater Use of Registered Apprenticeship to Increase Future Opportunities. To support the ongoing sustainability of the partnership between pre-apprenticeship providers and Registered Apprenticeship sponsors, these efforts should collaboratively promote the use of Registered Apprenticeship as a preferred means for employers to develop a skilled workforce and to create career opportunities for individuals;
  • Meaningful Hands-on Training that does not Displace Paid Employees. Provides hands-on training to individuals in a simulated lab experience or through volunteer opportunities, when possible, neither of which supplants a paid employee but accurately simulates the industry and occupational conditions of the partnering Registered Apprenticeship sponsor(s) while observing proper supervision and safety protocols; and
  • Facilitated Entry and/or Articulation. When possible, formalized agreements exist with Registered Apprenticeship sponsors that enable individuals who have successfully completed the pre-apprenticeship program to enter directly into a Registered Apprenticeship program and/or include articulation agreements for earning advanced credit/placement for skills and competencies already acquired.


Training and Employment Notice 13-12, Defining a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Related Tools and Resources, United States Department of Labor, Employment Training Administration

Click on the .pdf file to view and download the Training and Employment Notice.

Training and Employment Notice

Training and Employment Notice

Scott Asmus
Job Training Program Coordinator
Tel: (402) 471-9928

Updated October 24, 2018 11:11am