1. Build a pipeline of skilled workers

An opportunity to fill challenging vacancies and maintain institutional knowledge when soon-to-retire workers serve as instructors and mentors to new workers. Training apprentices can help a company accommodate an aging workforce.

2. Gain workers with customized skills

Companies have the opportunity to train workers to meet their specific standards, using the exact pieces of equipment, protocols, and procedures that are relevant to your company.

3. Boost retention

Decrease worker turnover due to the fostering of greater worker loyalty and productivity. Apprentices are loyal to the companies that invest in them. There is an added sense of loyalty between employers and employees.

4. Save money on wages

Since apprentices begin earning about 40-50% less than a fully trained employee, businesses can save money on wages by sponsoring an apprentice. 

5. Make a positive return on investment

A study found a financial return on investment that averages around $1.40 earned for every dollar spent on the program.

​Apprenticeships help increase retention rates of employees. See how much you are spending on employee turnover and start saving by implementing an apprenticeship program today. Learn more about the Cost of Turnover Tool to get started.
The following is a quick-start action planner, providing basic steps and the pieces needed in creating your own apprenticeship program. If you have questions, feel free to email apprenticeship@illinoisworknet.com:

Apprenticeship Program: Quick-start Action Planner

Step What do I need to get started?
1 Determine your workforce needs for skilled talent
  • Do you have challenges in finding skilled workers?
  • What particular occupations or positions?
  • What are your long-term workforce needs?
2 Identify partners and resources you need (Don't go it alone!)
  • Do you want to partner with local workforce agencies or training providers?
  • Do you want/need to partner with local educational providers?
  • Are there community based organizations (CBOs), economic development, or other critical partners that could help make this more successful?
  • Are there existing programs offered by intermediaries such as the local workforce area, community college, industry association, etc. in your area?
  • If you want a Registered Apprenticeship program, work with your local DOL representative to help in design and registration.
3 Determine your classroom training model
  • Will you provide classroom instruction in-house or do you want a partner to provide it?
  • Is it important to you to align the instruction piece with other industry credentials?
  • Will you pay for the classroom training or do you need to identify other options?
4 Design and develop your program
  • How will you select individuals for your program?
  • Do you want the program to serve new entrnts or incumbent (current) workers?
  • How long does it take for someone to be fully proficient in their job?
  • What skills, competencies, and abilities must they learn and know?
  • How will you know they are ready? Based on time, based on competency, or a mixture of both?
  • How will you compensate individuals as their skills and competencies increase?
  • If desired, work with DOL to register your program and receive recognition for meeting the requirements for national registration.
5 Marketing and Implementation
  • Conduct marketing and outreach for your program.
  • Recruit and select participants, rewarding prior experience as appropriate.
  • Identify mentors and/or levels of supervision to ensure quality coaching and safety on-the-job.
  • Implement and begin training — both classroom and on-the-job as designed.
6 Marketing and Implementation
  • Assess the program and participants' success moving forward.
  • Continuously improve the quality of your program over time.
​For more in depth information on creating a Registered Apprenticeship program, refer to the U.S. DOL's A Quick-Start Toolkit: Building Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

For a list of apprenticeable occupations, view the U.S. Department of Labor's List of Occupations Officially Recognized as Apprenticeable by the Office of Apprenticeship.
Employers Apprenticeship.png

Business Partners (individual company, consortium of businesses):

  • Identify the skills and knowledge that apprentices must learn
  • Hire new workers, or select current employees, to be apprentices
  • Provide on-the-job training » Identify an experienced mentor to work with apprentices
  • Pay progressively higher wages as skills increase
  • Can provide related instruction in-house or in partnership with others 

Workforce Intermediaries (industry association, labor and joint labor-management organization, community-based organization, community college, local workforce area, etc.):

  • Provide industry and/or workforce specific expertise (e.g. curriculum development) to support employers in a particular industry sector
  • Can serve as sponsor of an apprenticeship program, taking responsibility for the administration of the program (thereby reducing the burden on employers)
  • Aggregate demand for apprentices, particularly with small- and medium-size employers, that may not have the capacity to develop an apprenticeship program on their own
  • Can be the provider of related instruction and supportive services as appropriate
  • Educational Institutions (4-year college, community college, career and technical education)
  • Develop curriculum for related instruction
  • Deliver related instruction to apprentices
  • Can provide college credit for courses successfully completed
  • Aggregate demand for apprentices

Educational Institutions (4-year college, community college, career and technical education):

  • Develop curriculum for related instruction
  • Deliver related instruction to apprentices
  • Can provide college credit for courses successfully completed
  • Aggregate demand for apprentices

Public Workforce System (Workforce Development Board, American Job Center):

  • Develop sector and career pathway strategies utilizing apprenticeship
  • Serve as an intermediary
  • Recruit and screen candidates to be apprentices
  • Provide pre-apprenticeship and basic skills preparation
  • Provide supportive services (such as tools, uniforms, equipment, or books)
  • Contribute funding for on-the-job training or related instruction
​If you would like to start a registered apprenticeship program at your company, please visit this page to find the appropriate Department of Labor Contact for your area.