Establish an Apprenticeship


Registered apprenticeship training is a vital part of the economic well-being of this state and our country. The better trained our workers are, the better our businesses can compete in today's global market. Apprenticeship training is a proven on-the-job training system that will produce better-trained employees that are more efficient, motivated, and productive.

Within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet are apprenticeship coordinators who specialize in assisting employers in establishing registered apprenticeship training programs. Apprenticeship coordinators are available to assist you in every way to establish your registered apprenticeship program.

The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet​ has apprenticeship program standards that are in conformance with federal and state laws governing apprenticeship. These standards are used to register all apprenticeship programs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

If you have a collective bargaining agreement in place, a Joint Apprenticeship Committee should be established consisting of equal representation from both labor and management. If the bargaining unit does not wish to participate in the administration of the apprenticeship program, a letter of waiver from the union is obtained and the employer will operate the apprenticeship program according to the standards. If no collective bargaining agreement is in place, an employer can both register and administer the apprenticeship program.

Registered apprenticeship in Kentucky is very flexible and is tailored to individual employers needs for on-the-job training of apprentices. In addition to on-the-job training, a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction classes is required for each year of apprenticeship. The related instruction is designed to teach the apprentice the theoretical and technical subjects related to the trade.

Once you have determined that you want to establish a registered apprenticeship training program, an apprenticeship coordinator will assist you in preparing the program standards and supply you with contacts for related instruction and classroom training.

Basic Requirements

The basic requirements for registering an apprenticeship program are:

  1. The standards must contain the equal opportunity pledge prescribed by the Kentucky State Plan for equal employment opportunity in apprenticeship.
  2. The employment and training of an apprentice in a skilled trade.
  3. A term of apprenticeship, not less than 2,000 hours of work experience, consistent with training requirements as established by industry practices.
  4. An outline of work processes in which the apprentice will receive supervised work experience and training on the job and the allocation of the approximate time to be spent in each major process.
  5. Provision for related instruction in technical subjects related to the trade. A minimum of 144 hours for each year of apprenticeship is required.
  6. A progressively increasing schedule of wages to be paid the apprentice consistent with the skill acquired. The entry wage shall not be less than forty (40) percent of the established journeyperson rate of the employer or not less than the applicable minimum wage prescribed by state or federal law, whichever is greater. On projects where the wage rate has been set by law, the apprentice’s rate of pay shall be based upon the established journeyperson rate.
  7. Periodic review and evaluation of the apprentice’s progress in job performance and related instruction and maintenance of appropriate progress records.
  8. The ratio of apprentices to journeypersons consistent with proper supervision, training, and continuity of employment is required. The ratio of apprentice to journeyperson is established by Kentucky statute.
  9. A probationary period of not more than four (4) months during which the apprenticeship agreement may be terminated by either party with full credit for such period toward completion of apprenticeship.
  10. Adequate and safe equipment and facilities for training, supervision, and safety training for apprentices.
  11. Granting of credit for previous experience, training, skills or aptitude for all applicants equally, with commensurate wages for any accorded progression.
  12. Assurance of qualified training personnel.
  13. Placement of an apprentice under an apprenticeship agreement as required by the state apprenticeship law and regulations. The agreement shall incorporate the standards of the program as part of the agreement.
  14. The required minimum qualifications for persons entering an apprenticeship program with an eligible starting age of not less than sixteen (16) years.
  15. Recognition of the successful completion of an apprenticeship program by evidence of an appropriate completion certificate.
  16. Identification of the registration agency.
  17. Name and address of the appropriate authority to receive, process and make disposition of complaints.
  18. Recording and maintenance of all required records.

​Equal Employment Opportunity​

It is against the law for a sponsor of an apprenticeship program registered for federal purposes to discriminate against an apprenticeship applicant or apprentice based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age (40 years or older), genetic information, or disability. The sponsor must ensure equal employment opportunity concerning all terms, conditions, and privileges associated with apprenticeship. If you think that you have been subjected to discrimination, you may file a complaint within 300 days from the date of the alleged discrimination or failure to follow the equal employment opportunity standards to Attn: Director, Office of Employer and Apprenticeship Services, 500 Mero Street Fourth Floor Frankfort, KY 40601-1987 or email:
You may also be able to file complaints directly with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by telephone at (800) 669-4000 or online at, or the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR), by mail at 332 West Broadway, Louisville, Kentucky, 40202, by telephone at (800) 292-5566, or by e-mail at​.

Establish an Apprenticeship