Massachusetts Apprenticeship Training: What you need to know

Massachusetts develops, regulates, and monitors apprenticeship programs through its Division of Apprentice Standards (DAS) in the Department of Labor Standards. The director of DAS formulates policies for administering apprenticeship programs and sets standards for apprenticeship agreements.
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An “apprentice” is defined as a person at least 16 years old who has entered into a written apprentice agreement with a program sponsor, typically an employer or group of employers. The agreement must contain the following:
• A provision requiring that the apprentice receive a minimum of 2,000 hours of employment and 150 hours per year of classroom instruction
• A progressively increasing scale of wages for the apprentice, which must average at least half the rate of pay of a journeyperson over a similar period of time
• A statement that the agreement may be terminated within 6 months following its execution by either the employer or the apprentice, for any reason
• A statement that DAS is available to receive, investigate, and resolve any complaints the apprentice has about the program in which the apprentice is registered
All apprentice agreements must be filed with DAS, approved, and registered before they become effective. If the apprentice is a minor at the time the agreement is signed, the apprentice's parent or other legal guardian and the deputy director of DAS must also sign it (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 23 Sec.11I, Sec. 11J).
A sample apprentice agreement is available on DAS's website at http://www.mass.gov/das.
Employers may pay apprentices a subminimum wage of at least 80 percent of the regular minimum wage but must obtain a license issued by the Director of the Department of Labor and Workforce ...

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