What Are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeship: Earn. Learn. Succeed.

The National Apprenticeship Act (NAA), which is also known as the Fitzgerald Act, was enacted in 1937. This Act authorizes the Federal government (specifically the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship), in cooperation with the states, to oversee the nation's apprenticeship system. Together, they:

  • Award Registered Apprenticeship programs that meet Federal and State standards.
  • Assure that all programs provide high-quality training to their apprentices.
  • Issue Certificates of Completion to apprentices.
  • Encourage the development of new programs.
  • Protect the safety and welfare of apprentices.

Registered Apprenticeship is an important element in skill development. It is a critical postsecondary education and training model for developing 21st century skills. Registered Apprenticeship is built on the concept that you earn while you learn, and you succeed by demonstrating your acquired knowledge and skills with the goal to attain a job in that field.

Registered Apprenticeship is business and industry driven. Some of the key industries in Registered Apprenticeship as noted by the U.S. Department of Labor include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, construction, energy, geospatial technology, health care, hospitality, information technology, retail trade, security, social services, and transportation. Target industries in North Dakota with potential growth include health care; professional, scientific, and technical services; education; manufacturing; construction; accommodation/food services; and energy. It is important to note that Registered Apprenticeship can be used for both non-union and union career opportunities.

Apprentices work and learn under the direction of experienced journey workers. Apprentices receive training over a period of time that leads to them to become highly skilled in their chosen occupations. As they gain and prove their skills, they receive an increase in wage.