An apprenticeship program combines classroom instruction or education with on-the-job training under the close supervision of a qualified journeyworker in the craft, trade, or profession. Minnesota's voluntary apprenticeship program is governed by the Minnesota Apprenticeship Board, made up of representatives from employee and employer organizations and from the general public (MN Stat. Sec. 178.01). The Board is appointed by the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry.
The Division of Labor Standards and Apprenticeship provides information, establishes and enforces standards, approves agreements, registers apprenticeship programs, terminates programs if they violate state or federal standards, and monitors apprenticeship programs. It also receives and disburses federal funds and generally works with the federal Office of Apprenticeship (OA) to assist employers.
Most apprenticeship programs require a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED). Apprentices must be at least 16 years old. In Minnesota, the average apprenticeship lasts 4 years (MN Stat. Sec. 178.01et seq.).