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What Are Apprenticeships?

Apprenticeships combine on­the­job training with classroom instruction, teaching workers the practical and theoretical aspects of highly skilled occupations. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by employers, labor groups, and employer associations. The Office of Apprenticeship Information and Training (OAIT), part of the Department of Employment Services (DOES), registers apprentices and apprenticeship programs. OAIT safeguards the well­being of apprentices, guarantees the quality of programs, ensures equal access to apprentices, and provides integrated employment and training information to sponsors, employers, and trainers. OAIT also staffs the District of Columbia Apprenticeship Council. Applicants for apprenticeships must be at least 16 years old and meet the sponsor's qualifications. Generally, applicants must demonstrate to sponsors that they have the ability, aptitude, and education to master the rudiments of the occupation and complete related instruction. Prospective employers work with OAIT representatives to develop on­the­job training plans, related classroom instruction, and operating procedures.

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