Affirmative Action Programs establish a roadmap for Registered Apprenticeship Program sponsors to promote equal opportunity, develop a workplace free from discrimination, and address any barriers to equality in their apprenticeships. A well-constructed Affirmative Action Program helps sponsors recruit from a broad and diverse pool of candidates, protect apprentices from discrimination and provide opportunities based on apprentices’ merit in their workplace, and hire and promote their best workers. Sponsors set forth their Affirmative Action Programs in a written plan, which expresses a sponsor’s commitment to equality in every aspect of the apprenticeship program.
Affirmative Action Plans
The Affirmative Action Plan should describe the specific steps that the sponsor will take to ensure all qualified applicants and apprentices receive equal opportunity to be selected for – and succeed in – Registered Apprenticeship Programs.
To get started writing an Affirmative Action Plan:
- Watch the Understanding the Affirmative Action Plan Builder tutorial video
- Review Developing Affirmative Action Programs and Plans: A Guide for Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsors
- Download the Affirmative Action Plan Boilerplate
- View the Appendix C Reference Guide to assist in developing a written affirmative action plan
- Read the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship’s (PIA) EEO page on Developing and Implementing an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP).
Which sponsors are required to develop Affirmative Action Programs/Plans?
Registered Apprenticeship Program sponsors are required to develop an Affirmative Action Program/Plan if they:
- Have five or more apprentices, AND;
- Do not already have an approved Equal Employment Opportunity program in place under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or Executive Order 11246 and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
Analysis of Apprenticeship Demographics
As part of a sponsor’s Affirmative Action Program, the apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity regulations provide sponsors with a method to determine if barriers to apprenticeship exist for particular groups of individuals. These analyses compare the race, ethnicity, and sex composition of the sponsor’s apprentice workforce – by major occupation group – to an estimate of the race, ethnicity, and sex composition of qualified persons available for apprenticeship in the sponsor’s recruitment area.
A similar analysis is performed to compare the representation of individuals with disabilities in the sponsor's apprentice workforce to the 7% utilization goal established by the Office of Apprenticeship. These analyses will help sponsors identify any disparities in representation or barriers to equal opportunity present in their programs.
For more information and help conducting this analysis:
- Read the Demographic Analyses Quick Reference Guide
- Access the Demographic Analysis Tool
- Read the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship’s (PIA) EEO page on Encouraging Self-Identification and Measuring Against the 7% Utilization Goal
Do you need help with your Affirmative Action Program and analysis of apprentice demographics? Our knowledgeable apprenticeship staff are available to assist sponsors. Reach out to the apprenticeship contact for your state for support.
Still Have Questions?
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about creating your affirmative action program and affirmative action plan and utilization analysis.