Augusta County Schools Apprenticeship Programs for Employees
A series of career enhancement programs have been developed to allow non-exempt support staff employees an opportunity to improve their skills and enhance their performance while receiving a financial incentive. The improved skill base is not only a benefit to the employee, but the employer benefits as well by having a better trained employee that can provide a higher degree of service while realizing reduced training time and costs, improved communication and interpersonal relationships, and become more productive.
Augusta County Schools utilizes a series of apprenticeship programs in association with the Virginia Department of Labor to provide programs for employees with specific trade skills - i.e. Mechanics, Computer Technicians, Maintenance workers, Custodians, and School Nutrition Program workers. In addition, Augusta County Schools is partnering with Blue Ridge Community College to implement a career enhancement program of Instructional Assistants.
What is apprenticeship? Apprenticeship is an agreement between an employer who needs a skilled worker and an individual (the apprentice) who wants to “earn while learning” a skilled occupation. Apprenticeship offers individuals the chance to learn the skills needed on the job and provides a better opportunity for advancement. Apprenticeship combines paid, on-the-job experience with classroom instruction to better prepare employees for their current job and to allow them to be prepared as their job responsibilities may change.
Apprenticeship has two components: On-The-Job Training (OJT) and Related Instruction (RI) in the classroom. OJT ensures the employee will be fully trained in all areas of the occupation by a skilled professional. RI builds the theoretical and technical knowledge an employee needs for the occupation.
What is the role of the Department of Labor and Industry? Apprenticeship programs are administered through the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI). DOLI apprenticeship representatives work with employers to help establish and promote apprenticeship programs. The agency is also responsible for ensuring that employers comply with applicable regulations and meet specific criteria.
What does a typical apprentice do? A registered apprentice completes a minimum of 2,000 hours (or the number of hours equal to the standard hours worked for a specific occupation), supervised, on-the-job work experience in a specific occupation, and a recommended minimum of 144 hours of related instruction for each year of the apprenticeship. Depending on the occupation, the length of the apprenticeship ranges from one to six years with an average of four years of on-the-job training.
Ø More productive employees
Ø Improved employer/employee relations
Ø Reduced training costs
Ø Increased skill level of the work force
Ø Improved worker and company communications
Ø Formal on-the-job training
Ø Additional classroom instruction
Ø Increased pay while learning
Ø Promotional potential; a better job, and a better future – the program provides a head-start to better job advancement and better wages.
Ø Employee receives a completion certificate which is recognized throughout the United States.
Dates of Importance:
Ø Effective April 1, 2009, there is no longer a designated "open enrollment" period for apprenticeship programs. Employees may now enroll at any time in an apprenticeship program. If you are interested in the apprenticeship program for your area of employment, please contact your supervisor/director.
Ø The deadline for completion of course work and/or competency testing for completion on an apprenticeship level in order for a salary adjustment in the upcoming year is April 15th.
This page may be accessed directly @ www.augusta.k12.va.us/careerenhancement