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What support and resources are available from the state of Minnesota for employers considering starting an apprenticeship program?
A:  We provide support to apprenticeship employers during the entire time they are registered with the state. We cannot provide monetary support or wage subsidies to employers before or after registration of the program. The services from Apprenticeship Minnesota are a no-cost resource that assists you, the employer, in developing a program which, when operational, fully meets your needs.

What are the costs involved in setting up and operating an apprenticeship program?
A:  An employer's costs are minimal. However, when employers develop an apprenticeship program, they make a long-term commitment to provide an individual with detailed training. Apprenticeship programs must ensure a skilled worker is available to oversee the training of the apprentice, which does result in costs to the employer.

The apprentice must complete related instruction during the term of the apprenticeship. There is no requirement that employers pay the costs of related instruction. However, some employers provide on-site, company-related instruction at their own expense or have a tuition reimbursement plan available for employees.

In addition, employers keep all records documenting the apprentice's progress during training. This includes both on-the-job and related training records. Recordkeeping is necessary to ensure the apprentice is properly rotated throughout the program at the appropriate time in their training.

Benefits of apprenticeship for employers 

What are the benefits of an apprenticeship program?

  • Allows employers to provide career advancement opportunities for employees in the apprenticeship program;

  • Less turnover because, in general, apprentices are more committed to the trade and have higher levels of job satisfaction;

  • Apprentices work while they learn and upon completion of the apprenticeship program, they are ready to contribute to the company's bottom line;

  • Fully-trained, skilled employees that know the business inside and out, from the bottom up;

  • Improves employee relations by creating a closer relationship between management and employee.  Apprentices often work their way into leadership roles within the company.

How do I set up an apprenticeship program?
To set up an apprenticeship program, the employer must have occupations suitable for apprenticeship training. A representative from Apprenticeship Minnesota will meet with the employer to assist in developing a program.

We use  several criteria to determine if an occupation should, or can be, an apprenticeable trade. Generally the occupation must:

  • Involve manual, mechanical or technical skills, and require at least 2,000 hours of training;

  • Be customarily learned in a practical way through on-the-job training and classroom technical instruction;

  • Be clearly identified and recognized throughout an industry or profession as an occupation and the occupation may have upward mobility for career advancement.

If the occupation is deemed compatible for apprenticeship, Apprenticeship Minnesota will continue to meet with the employer to develop and register the program. This involves identifying work processes and related instruction, and is generally the most time-consuming part of the process as the program is tailored to the company's needs.

An Apprenticeship Minnesota staff member will tour the employer's workplace to make sure all the training can be provided as outlined and to identify the skilled worker(s) who will assist in the training of the apprentices. After the program is established, the employer recruits the applicants and completes the apprentice training agreements.

Apprenticeship Minnesota staff are available to provide continuous, timely support to all apprenticeship employers once their programs are finalized.

Want to learn more?

Contact Apprenticeship Minnesota at 651-284-5090 or