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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Apprenticeship -- veterans: FAQs

Frequently asked questions about apprenticeship and on-the-job training(OJT) programs

If I am a veteran, can I use my veterans benefits for on-the-job training (OJT) or apprenticeship training instead of using them for college expenses?
As a qualifying veteran, you may use your benefits for OJT and/or apprenticeship training, as long as you have funds available for usage. If you have funds remaining after your OJT or apprenticeship training experience, you may use those funds for your college education.

Briefly, what is the difference between OJT and apprenticeship training?
On-the-job training (OJT) is a short-term training program designed to prepare you for a job that requires from six to 24 months of training and usually does not have related educational training required. An apprenticeship program is much longer and can last from 2,000 hours to 10,000 hours, depending on the occupational skills to be learned. Most approved programs in Minnesota are 8,000 hours -- or four years -- in length. Apprenticeship training also requires a minimum of 144 hours of classroom training each year, which is in addition to the skilled training hours.

How do I find out if I qualify for veterans benefits?
Contact a Veterans Service Officer in the county courthouse in your area, contact your local Workforce Center Veterans Office or call the Veterans Affairs Department toll-free at 1-888-442-4551.

I understand my employer must be approved by your agency before I am able to collect my monthly benefits. How long does it take before I can expect my first check?
Yes, our Apprenticeship staff members must approve your employer before your benefits start. In addition, your eligibility must be determined by Veterans Affairs in St. Louis, Mo., before your monthly checks begin. Usually, the time to process you documents in our office and the St. Louis office takes from 10 to 12 weeks. Don't worry, you will receive all of your benefits even if your checks don't arrive until after you have been on the job for what seems, to you, like an extended period of time.

Where do I find employment as an apprentice or in an OJT program?
Your current employer may qualify or may already be an approved training site for veterans training. If you are not currently employed, you should seek employers' organizations, employers that hire veterans with your particular military skills, trade union offices in your area or check the yellow pages of the telephone book for the field and location of your choice, and ask them if they have an interest in hiring a veteran. If they agree to set up a program for you, contact this office for the approval process to begin.

 For more information, contact DLI Apprenticeship at dli.apprenticeship@state.mn.us or at (651) 284-5090.