Pre-Apprenticeship apprentices working together

Explore Pre-Apprenticeship

What is a Pre-Apprenticeship Program?

Pre-Apprenticeship is a program or set of strategies that is designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

What are the Elements of a Quality Pre-Apprenticeship Program?

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs can play a valuable role in providing work-based learning to help people prepare for an entry-level RAP. While Pre-Apprenticeship programs have varied designs and approaches, the Department of Labor has outlined the elements of a quality pre-apprenticeship program that can place an individual on the potential career pathway to employability though a RAP:

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Training that is based on industry standards and approved by a RAP partner

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Hands-on training or volunteer opportunities that do not displace paid employees

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Agreements with RAP sponsors that allow program participants to enter directly into a RAP

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Recruit and prepare underrepresented populations to be successful in a RAP. learn more about Diversity and Inclusion

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Wrap-around services or referrals to help participants complete the program (e.g childcare, transportation)

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Collaboratively promote Registered Apprenticeship to other employers

Consider the Benefits of Pre-Apprenticeship


Save time and money: Pre-Apprenticeship programs provide pre-screened, ready-to-work employees who have been trained in the specific skills employers need. Find partners to help design your program.


Many successful Pre-Apprenticeship programs are housed at high schools and community colleges because they offer hands-on learning opportunities for students. Learn more about how apprenticeship boosts education

Career Seekers

A Pre-Apprenticeship program can help you prepare for the apprenticeship that's right for you. Read more about the federal Pre-Apprenticeship programs YouthBuild and Job Corps or search our Partner Finder to see sponsors that may offer a Pre-Apprenticeship program.

Prepare Local Workers for Success in an Apprenticeship

Pre-Apprenticeship programs like the HireLAX Apprenticeship Readiness Program provide skills that assist participants in forming the foundations of their careers that can last a lifetime. In this video, hear from HireLAX program graduates who became apprenticeship-ready and were prepared for a fulfilling career in construction. Employers can follow HireLAX’s lead to maximize their economic impact,  ensure their local community is part of their company’s future, and hire workers who reflect the diversity of their local community.

Case Studies

The U.S. Department of Labor believes in the benefits that pre-apprenticeship programs can offer employers, educators and individuals who are seeking a career change. The following real-life case studies serve as examples of pre-apprenticeships across various industries and occupations and the impact they are having in our communities.

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Attracted more diverse candidates, increased efficiency by 50%, and raised retention rates.

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Increased employment of disabled workers.

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40% of participants were women and 90% were people of color, exceeding national averages.

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