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Youth Apprenticeship Employers

Youth Apprenticeship would not exist without the commitment by local employers to develop the next generation of workers.

What is the YA program?

Youth Apprenticeship (YA) is a highly successful talent acquisition strategy in which employers hire high school juniors or seniors for a one or two-year apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship, the student continues toward high school graduation and takes courses related to the profession as a way of enhancing what is being learned on the job. The YA Program is coordinated locally by regional consortia and overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). Each consortium typically includes several participating high schools. Employers may hire from more than one high school and even work with multiple consortia to meet their hiring needs.

Contact your local YA Consortium

Benefits for Employers

Meeting business needs: Prepare the next generation of workers for your industry and business!

The YA Program has been connecting employers with high school student talent for over 30 years, creating a scalable and successful program with input from industry. Employers extend permanent job offers to more than 75 percent of the graduating youth apprentices annually, making YA an excellent pipeline for recruiting and retaining loyal, well-trained talent. Employers continually report a high level of satisfaction, and cite these program benefits:

  • Increase visibility of employer's industry / business.
  • Access to young workers who are eager to learn and have interest in the profession.
  • Quality, prescreened youth apprentices who receive ongoing support during their apprenticeship.
  • A method to address future hiring needs in a cost-effective and timely manner.
  • Opportunity to prepare future workers.
  • Opening to help educational personnel develop job-specific proficiencies.
  • Chance to become involved with worksite curriculum.
  • The chance to shape the skills, expectations and habits of youth apprentices at a young age.

Occupational Pathways

Careers have been organized into 11 clusters based on common knowledge and similar skill requirements. Within each cluster there are pathways that break those careers down further into smaller groups.

Choosing a career path can feel like a daunting process at times and that is why it is important to consider what career clusters could be a good fit and explore on a broader scale first, sort of like testing the water before getting in.

Career clusters are a framework that allows us to examine areas of interest without having to choose a specific career right away. Youth Apprenticeship offers several career programs to pursue. The options may vary depending on the offerings for your local area.

Employer Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of YA employers:

  • Participate in mentor training session
  • Interview and hire YA student(s)
  • Provide on the job training to YA student(s)
  • Pay YA student(s) at least minimum wage
  • Participate in regular Progress Reviews with youth apprentice(s) at least 3 times per year
  • Ensure 450 hours per year of worksite training/work hours
  • Comply with employment of minors (a.k.a. child labor) laws

Requirements for Employers

The work-based learning component of the YA Program is designed to provide an on-the-job learning environment for students by being "apprenticed" to an experienced mentor.

As with all apprenticeship programs, the work-based learning component is the primary method for teaching the required competencies, the local business becomes an extension of the classroom for the YA student. The required Related Technical classroom instruction is intended to support the work-based learning experience by providing theoretical knowledge and, when needed, providing appropriate skill development.

Learn more about the hiring process and expectations of Youth Apprenticeship Employment.

Hiring Minors