High School Registered Apprenticeships

CLICK HERE to access slides from the Iowa STEM BEST Webinar: The Scoop on High School Registered Apprenticeships

High School Registered Apprenticeship Playbook

The following playbook was developed to help guide Iowa employers, high schools and students through the process of implementing a Registered Apprenticeship program in local communities.

Additionally, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity produced a free toolkit designed to assist leaders from K-12, higher education and the workforce to build an scale equitable youth apprenticeship programs. Click here to download the toolkit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who holds the liability insurance for the work based portion of a high school registered apprenticeship program?

We recommend consulting with your local insurance provider. Many businesses have found there has been no change or difficulty with insurance.

How do OSHA standards work with Registered Apprenticeships?

If students are participating in a registered apprenticeship program you can allow for students who are 16 years of age or older to work in your factory under these occupations with two exceptions. 1.) They can NOT operate motorized vehicles, ie. forklifts, trucks, etc., and 2.) They cannot use overhead hoists until they are 18. Besides all of this, they can do all other facets of your work. They can participate in your company activities at the age of 16 according to Child Labor Bulletin 101 as long as they are under a Registered High School Apprenticeship Program.

Can community colleges play a role? Possible dual-or concurrent credit?

Yes. A lot of the dual enrolled classes can happen at the high school level. Students are getting more ambitious about getting as many of those dual enrollment courses in high school when they can get that training for free and they get their degree much faster once they are out of school.

Is all of the training “on the job” training or do students attend classes at a community college first?

This will depend on the school. Some schools have a CTE program at the vocational level so the dual-enrolled program is located at the school. Other schools may need to use community college classes. 

Is there an employer pool that area schools can use or is each school responsible for finding their own employer to match with their student? Any advice to get over this major hurdle?

In some cases, the school reaches out to businesses and in other cases, businesses reach out to local schools. Contact your local IowaWORKS offices, chambers of commerce and economic development groups for assistance with these conversations.

Can you have more than one company involved in your Registered Apprenticeship Program?

Yes, you can! You can start your Registered Apprenticeship Program with one company but the idea is to have it grow and add more occupations.

How many students is considered appropriate for one teacher running a registered apprenticeship program?

You can have a registered apprenticeship program with only 1 student. The number of students may only be limited by classroom limitations.

What other registered apprenticeship opportunities might there be outside of our traditional trades that are often seen?

There are numerous different occupations outside of the traditional trades programs.

Are there costs for a school to get started? 

There could be a cost to schools that are starting from scratch with specific technical training instruction - equipment, curriculum, instructor salary, etc. However, if those classes are already in place and being offered, that cost should already be covered. There may also be student training options from your community college.

There was a recent update to Iowa College Savings 529 Plans to begin allowing these funds to pay for some fees, books, equipment, and other costs of Registered Apprenticeships. Has anyone explored this for their high school partnerships or are there generally minimal direct costs for high school students?

In most cases, training is provided on the job. There may be a cost for additional classes, if required for the work.

We are a small school and have a limited options for direct career training. Could we get them some classes at the Blong Technology Center at Eastern Iowa Community College and then connect a student with a business?

If the Blong is able to provide classes, then it would certainly be allowed.


For information about Iowa's Registered Apprenticeship Program, click on the link below.

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