An apprenticeship is a voluntary, on-the-job training program that combines classroom instruction or education with work performance under the close supervision of a journeyperson skilled in a craft, trade, or profession.
Washington state regulates apprenticeship programs through an Apprenticeship and Training Council chosen by the Department of Labor and Industries. The Apprenticeship Council approves apprenticeship programs and establishes program standards (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.04.010et seq.).
An employer can offer apprenticeships either as a training agent or as a sponsor. A training agent enters into a partnership with an existing, registered apprenticeship program that is already training apprentices in the employer's trade or business. The apprentices works for the employer, but the training is provided through the existing apprenticeship program.
A sponsor creates an apprenticeship program and registers the program with the state.