Pre-Apprenticeship in Massachusetts

Posted by John Griffin - On July 18, 2011 (EST)



Registered Pre-Apprenticeship in Massachusetts


The Massachusetts Division of Apprentice Training has been a SAC state since 1945. We have registered over 50,000 apprentices since then and currently have a little over 5000 active apprentices registered in 2011. There are Responsible Employer Ordinances (REO’s) in Massachusetts which require contractors to be affiliated with a joint or non-joint registered apprentice program as a condition of submitting a responsive bid on selected public works projects.  There is also EEO language included in the REO’s that require better utilization of women and minorities.

Just like other states our division finalized our regulations and submitted them to the OA for approval this past year.  One of the additional items that we submitted for approval was registered pre-apprentice language to address the outreach requirements of REO’s. The purpose of the regulation is to establish registered pre-apprentice programs that are better aligned with registered programs and to provide better outreach opportunities for the public and program compliance.  As we know anyone can open up shop as a pre-apprenticeship program without having a connection to a registered apprentice program. There can be an expectation by the pre-apprentice participants that they will become apprentices after graduation however in order to become apprentices they will need access to jobs which registered apprentice programs can provide. The lack of coordination between the programs has resulted in pre-apprentice graduates not being properly prepared to enter an apprentice program.  Because of this disconnect it was determined that there needed to be a registered pre-apprentice program component. 

7.05: Registration for Pre-Apprentices and Pre-Apprentice Programs

(1) All registered pre-apprentice programs must comply with the following standards:

(a) The pre-apprentice program must have an organized, written plan embodying the terms and conditions of training and supervision of one or more pre-apprentices in an apprenticeable occupation, and a written agreement with a registered apprentice sponsor. The agreement with the registered apprentice training sponsor must provide that graduating pre-apprentices will be provided with a predetermined form of articulated credit if they are accepted into the registered apprentice program through the program intake procedures. 

(b) The pre-apprentice program standards must contain provisions that address:

(1) The related classroom training of the pre-apprentice in a skilled occupation.

(2) The determination of the appropriate curriculum for the program standards is made by the program sponsor, subject to approval by the Division of the determination as appropriate to the apprenticeable occupation for which the program standards are registered.

(3) Provision for organized, related instruction in technical subjects related to the occupation. Approximately 150 hours for each year of pre-apprenticeship is recommended. This instruction in technical subjects may be accomplished through media such as classroom, occupational or industry courses, electronic media, or other instruction approved by the Director.

(4) Periodic review and evaluation of the pre-apprentice's performance in related instruction; and the maintenance of appropriate progress records.

(5) Adequate and safe equipment and facilities for training and supervision, and safety training for pre-apprentices and in related instruction.

(6) The placement of a pre-apprentice under a written Pre-Apprenticeship Agreement as prescribed by the Division.

(7) Assurance of qualified training personnel and adequate supervision.

(8) Recognition for successful completion of pre-apprenticeship evidenced by an appropriate certificate issued by the pre-apprentice program sponsor.

(9) Contact information (name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address if appropriate) for the appropriate individual with authority under the program to receive, process and make disposition of complaints.

(10) The conditions under which the apprentice program may discontinue its relationship with the pre-apprentice program.

(2) The pre-apprentice sponsor shall provide a listing of the pre-apprentice program graduates for each class to the Division which shall include, for each of the graduates, the Name, Address, Date of Birth, Beginning and End Dates of Training, and, on a voluntary basis, Social Security Number.

(3) The Division will assign a unique ID number and enter each pre-apprentice into the Division’s Apprentice Tracking Database in order to track future migration into a registered apprentice program.

(4)  At any time during the period of the pre-apprentice program registration, the Deputy Director may cancel the pre-apprentice program where he or she deems appropriate.

How to get started as a registered pre-apprentice program


  • To register a pre-apprenticeship program with the Division of Apprentice Training the applicants should follow the process below. The pre-apprentice program should provide the graduates with the skills needed to successfully pass the interview process in order to enter a full registered apprentice program. The fully registered apprentice sponsor will be either a single employer or a multi-employer group. These sponsors are the ones who eventually provide the jobs.


  • Keep in mind that pre-apprentices are not allowed to work on construction projects until they are full apprentices.


  • The pre-apprentice program sponsor applicant should first meet with a willing registered apprentice sponsor and develop a memorandum of agreement which must include a pre-determined amount of articulated credit that will be given to each graduate who successfully enters the registered apprentice program.


  • Registered sponsors can have more than one memorandum of agreement with registered pre-apprentice programs. Registered apprentice programs can utilize registered pre-apprenticeship to enhance their EEO outreach efforts.


  • The registered apprentice sponsor must approve the curriculum of the pre-apprentice applicant in order to determine the proper amount of credit that will be articulated between the parties in the memorandum of agreement.


  • If the registered apprentice sponsor withdraws its agreement with the pre-apprentice sponsor, the pre-apprentice will loose its registration with that sponsor and the Division of Apprentice Training. If the registered pre-apprentice sponsor has memorandum of agreements with other programs those memorandum of agreements will not be affected.


  • The applicant can start the registration process once the memorandum of agreement is signed and the curriculum has been approved by contacting the Division of Apprentice Training @ 617-626-5409 and requesting an application package.


  • The pre-apprentice sponsor will document the name, address, date of birth, phone number social security number of each graduate along with the program partner name, term of apprenticeship, graduation date and affirmative action questionnaire on a form supplied by the Division of Apprentice Training.


  • Each graduates’ information will be entered into the apprentice tracking database so that when a graduate interviews and is selected by the articulation partner to enter an apprentice program the articulated credit will be identified and credited to the new apprentices record.


  • There are no fees associated with pre-apprenticeship which means that there are no apprentice photo ID’s and no access to public works projects.


As an example, the registered pre-apprentice model is being utilized by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA).  They will be using it to introduce residents of the BHA onto multiple projects they are managing.  Their partners are the Boston Building Trades Unions and their apprentice programs. They will partner to run an eight week registered pre-apprentice program which will be part of an overall nine month evaluation and support program.

 Submitted to John Griffin


David Wallace, Deputy Director

Department of Labor Standards / Division of Apprentice Training

Phone 617-626-5407   Fax 617-626-5427


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Modified On : July 18, 2011
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