DOL ETA Release Training and Employment Notice on Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) released a Training and Employment Notice
: Defining a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Related Tools and Resources. Pre-Apprenticeship is a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program and has a documented partnership with at least one, if not more, Registered Apprenticeship program(s). Posted 12/06/2012.Frequently Asked Questions about Fiduciary Responsibilities under an Apprenticeship and Training Plan —
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a series of questions and answers to provide an overview of the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to apprenticeship and training plans under ERISA. Posted 7/02/2012. DOL Issues FAB on Apprenticeship Funds' Graduation and Marketing Expenses —
In the course of EBSA’s investigations of some apprenticeship and training plans, questions have arisen about the use of plan assets to pay for graduation ceremonies and for advertising expenses. The Regional Offices have asked whether the use of plan assets for such purposes violates ERISA's exclusive purpose and fiduciary duty requirements. The following guidance is intended to promote consistency among the Regional Offices in their enforcement positions on these issues. Posted 4/03/2012.
Articles, Papers and Survey DataUnited States
Yes, An Apprenticeship Fund Is An ERISA Fund — The U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Adminstration (EBSA), has made audits of apprenticeship and training funds a top prioirity in recent years. Knowing what to expect when EBSA arrives at the fund's door will help administrators and trustees be in the best position to respond to, and survive, an audit/ investigation. From October 2012 Benefits Magazine . By Gary Thayer and James W. Versocki
DOL Free Webcast on Apprenticeship Plans and Fiduciary Responsibilities — The Department of Labor archived a webcast from July 26 to increase awareness and understanding of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for apprenticeship plan officials. Speakers from the DOL presented information on the basic fiduciary responsibilities, including guidance on graduation ceremonies and program marketing, prohibited transactions and exemptions, the reporting and disclosure exemption for apprenticeship plans, and the Department’s voluntary correction programs. In addition to the presentation materials, a 'toolkit of resources' is now available for download.
An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States — The Employment and Training Administration released a report showing the net benefits outweigh the net costs of Registered Apprenticeship (RA) programs. The report, titled "An Effectiveness Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Registered Apprenticeship in 10 States," found the social benefits of an average 36 year career of an apprentice exceed the social costs by more than $49,000. The report suggests specific strategies to enhance the success of women in the RA program, such as building women's basic skills and developing accurate expectations about particular occupations, providing access to adequate child care, enforcing policies to combat harassment at male-dominated worksites, and providing peer groups for support and encouragement.
Attention JATCs: It's Not 2007 Anymore! — Based on the author's workshop, "Energizing Apprenticeship and Training Programs," at the Construction Industry Benefits Conference in September 2011 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, this article focuses on the importance of running a training fund like a business. Featured in the January 2012 issue of Benefits Magazine . By John S. Gaal, Ed.D.
Helping Apprentices and Journeyworkers Become "Financially Fluent" — The International Foundation published an article in the September 2011 issue of Benefits Magazine , stressing the importance of financial education for apprentices and journeyworkers. While the article references U.S.-based organizations, the information is also relevant to those in Canada. By Andrew Staab.
The Intricacies of Apprenticeship Training Fund Collections —Fiduciaries of apprenticeship training funds have a responsibility to see that contributions are collected. Tough economic times may make that more difficult and trustees need a comprehensive strategy with a variety of tools to ensure timely, effective collection efforts. From the June 2011 issue of Benefits Magazine . By Karen Sollars, CEBS.
The Training Trilogy: One Union, Three Experiments in Sustainability —This paper contains three innovative approaches that offer jointly-managed training trust funds ideas on how to adjust to a seemingly unpredictable future. For too long, union-affiliated training programs—especially, in the construction trades—have been accused of marginalizing select populations, not devising progressive recruitment strategies, and/or reacting to the effects of the global marketplace. The following three case studies move beyond the stereotypical apprenticeship training model by examining: 1) the power of relationships between labor, management, and the community; 2) the importance of holding stakeholders accountable; and 3) the significance of leading change in one's industry sector.
Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Results from a National Survey —This publication shares findings from a WSI-conducted survey of pre-apprenticeship programs in the construction trades. Based on responses from 260 programs nationwide, the report presents information about program size, services offered, populations served, funding sources, and successes and challenges in placing trainees in apprenticeships or jobs. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the impetus for the project was a desire to explore the capacity of the workforce system to prepare individuals—particularly low-income and minority jobseekers—for jobs in the construction industry. It is hoped that the report will contribute to discussions about the need for investment in skills training and about ways to ensure that apprenticeships and construction-related jobs are open to more low-income, minority and women candidates.
The Greening of Registered Apprenticeship: An Environmental Scan of the Impact of Green Jobs on Registered Apprenticeship and Implications for Workforce Development —This report is an environmental scan of the impact of recent policies and investments supporting "green" jobs on current and potential Registered Apprenticeship and other labor management training programs. The scan highlights the trends, activities, and changes that are underway in several key industries that will likely make up a significant portion of the emerging green economy.
The Benefits and Challenges of Registered Apprenticeship: The Sponsors' Perspective —This report analyzes a survey of a nationally representative sample of sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs. Commissioned by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, the survey includes questions about how sponsors (mainly employers) view their registered apprenticeship programs. The study analyzes these survey responses on the value, benefits, and drawbacks of registered apprenticeship, its integration with the workforce investment systems, apprentice completion and reasons for non-completion, and suggestions for possible improvement. In general, sponsors report highly positive attitudes about registered apprenticeship as a system for training their workforce.
Trends in Registered Apprenticeship Training in Canada, 1991 to 2009— Statistics Canada studied registered apprenticeship in Canada from 1991 to 2009, focusing on four major trades groups: electricians, automotive service technicians, carpenters and plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters. The study examined the trends in total number of apprenticeship registrations for each of the trade groups and trends in new registrations, completions and discontinuers. Between 1991 and 2009, total registered apprenticeship numbers more than doubled from 192,945 to 409,038. New registrations more than doubled while completions increased 56.6 percent. Total registrations for the four largest trade groups had steady growth between 1991 and 2009, except the carpenters saw a drop between 2008 and 2009. The number of newly registered apprentices dropped in all four groups between 2008 and 2009, however, the number of completers increased.
The Completion Behaviour of Registered Apprentices: Who Continues, Who Quits, and Who Completes Programs? —The number of registered apprentices in Canada more than doubled between 1995 and 2007, yet succesful completion of apprenticeship programs increased by only one-third as much. Uncovering the factors related to low completion rates is a necessary first step to ensuring that today's skilled labour is replaced in the future. This study utilizes the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey (NAS) to investigate the completion behaviour of individuals enrolled in apprenticeship programs.
It Pays to Hire an Apprentice: Calculating the Return on Training Investment for Skilled Trades Employers in Canada —What are the benefits of apprenticeship training for an employer? Can a financial return be calculated? Does the investment support an employer's bottom line? These are the main research questions that prompted the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum to complete this study. To answer these questions CAF-FCA asked almost 1,000 employers in 16 different trades in a variety of sectors to fill in a survey on the costs and benefits of apprenticeship training. The results show that there is a positive return for those employers that invest in apprenticeship training.
What's Working - Innovative Apprenticeship Training —In 2011, International Foundation staff wrote a Benfefits Magazine case study highlighting the innovative practices that the New Jersey Apprenticeship Training and Education Fund are using to overcome a series of challenges.
Suggestions for Future Case Studies
Do you know of any training and education funds that are using innovative practices to improve their performance? Would you like to share your innovative ideas? Please submit them here.
56th U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference - November 14-17, 2010
Links to External Organizations
Future Educational Offerings from the International Foundation
59th U.S. Annual Employee Benefits Conference-October 20-23, 2013, Las Vegas, Nevada —External factors continue to draw attention to benefit plans. Do you have the information you need to sustain your plans and make the best decisions possible? The Annual Employee Benefits Conference provides a well-rounded program offering ideas for dealing with difficult situations, innovative approaches for seemingly impossible dilemmas and a strong grounding for meeting your fiduciary obligations.
Suggestions for Future Program Topics
Do you have a suggestion for an apprenticeship-related topic for future International Foundation educational programs? You can provide input here.