Apprenticeships Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between an apprenticeship and an internship?

There really isn’t an official definition; however, apprenticeships can be distinguished by its longer term of engagement. Most internships are only a few months, while depending on the type of apprenticeship, it could extend from 1 - 4 years. Apprenticeships also provide a structured training plan and focus on mastering a specific skill to fill an occupational need within a company or organization. During the apprenticeship, the apprentice is trained and mentored by an industry expert. In most cases, successful completion of the program will lead to the apprentice earning industry-recognized credentials in that field. In the case of both internships and apprenticeships, these “Earn While You Learn” programs will provide wages and some may lead to college credits, however, the apprenticeship will lead to a debt-free college degree.

Why are apprenticeships a viable option?

For some jobseekers college matriculation may not be their first choice. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity for achieving skills sets for in-demand careers that provide hands-on-training and actual practicum, within the company/organization. Apprentices receive wages and in some cases, company benefits as they are training in their career.

How is your apprenticeship program different from others?

The Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, (MOED,) supports the Maryland Apprenticeship and Training Program. MOED is offering up to $2,500 to be paid to the employer for each apprentice. The apprentice must be a Baltimore City resident. MOED also offers additional supportive services through recruitment, its job coaching that provides job readiness training for jobseekers and retention monitoring services that benefit both employers and apprentices.

Does this program offer more incentives for the employer to participate in the apprentice program? And who gets paid, the employer or the apprentice?

MOED funds are provided through the federally funded American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA,) to help support businesses/companies/organizations impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. These funds are paid to the employer to help supplement wages and the cost associated with apprentice training.

Additionally, the State also offers up to $4,000 that can be combined with MOED funds. Only registered participating employers will be eligible for either or both funding subsidies.

Is the employer responsible for developing the apprenticeship training for a new or existing position?

Yes, each program will be different and tailored to the needs of the employer. However, there are a set of universal standards and policies which the State of Maryland requires for compliance with all registered apprenticeship programs.

Is there assistance to develop the curriculum?

Yes, the State of Maryland will provide assistance in developing the curriculum and standards for registered apprenticeship programs.

Are job benefits offered to apprentices?

Some employers provide benefits in addition to wages, but this will vary with each employer.

What services/resources does your office provide?

We are involved in two essential functions: firstly, recruiting and connecting businesses with MOED services and the agency’s resources which include industry sector partnerships, customized training, subsidized employment incentives, programs with tax credits, summer jobs, and recruitment services and more. Our work in developing employment and apprentice training opportunities will hopefully lead to permanent, full-time positions with liveable salaries and benefits that provide self-sufficiency for area job seekers. Secondly, we provide employability skills for job seekers. Apprentices are offered a one week training in: Identity and Goal Setting, Resume and Cover Letter Development, Interview Prep, Computer Literacy, Financial Literacy, and assistance with creating a Maryland Workforce Exchange account.

How does an employer and an apprentice register into the MWE system?

The Maryland Workforce Exchange, (MWE,) system creates a virtual recruiter for both the employer and job seeker. It provides the employer with an additional resource pool of job candidates, and for the apprentice, it's a one-stop shop for job searches. The system notifies both the employer and jobseeker of job matches. Apprentices can visit MWEJobs (maryland.gov) to create an Individual/Job seeker account. If needed, apprentices will receive assistance for registering a MWE account. Our assistance will only take about 10 minutes to complete. The Business Service Representative should assist the employer and or the apprentice in entering information into MWE to ensure accuracy of the information.

What is the criteria to receive funding? And why is it “up to $2,500? Basically, why would someone receive less than $2500?

The process begins with the completion of a MOED Apprenticeship application. Registered apprentices must be Baltimore City residents. Our incentive is only up to $2,500 per apprentice. In cases where the employer costs for training is less, budget adjustments will apply; however, if the cost exceeds this amount, the program will only pay up to $2,500.

What wages are most employers expected to pay?

Employers are expected to pay at least $15/hour.

Are these funds tax free for the employer?

Not at this time. However, there are discussions within the Maryland legislature for this consideration for employers, which may lead to tax exemptions in the future.

What methods will MOED utilize to recruit Baltimore City residents to an apprentice program?

Various public awareness and outreach efforts have been implemented to recruit employers and prospective apprentices. MOED shares information through its social media networks, trade magazines, television, printed fliers, workforce partners and more. Additionally, MOED hosts job fairs, as well as participates in various local employer fairs and utilizes its Workforce Development Centers.

Does MOED provide background and drug screenings?

MOED does not provide background and drug screens, however, some employers will have hiring requirements that must be met. These may include aptitude tests, drug screenings, background checks and providing proof of Covid vaccination. These requirements will vary with each employer.

Can people with disabilities join? / Are employers hiring people with disabilities?

Yes, people with disabilities are welcomed. In fact, the U.S. Dept of Labor statistics reported in July 2019, 6.5 percent of persons with a disability reported using some type of career assistance program within the past 5 years to help them prepare for work or advance on the job.

The ADA protections under the law apply to Maryland employers and are enforced by the office of Federal Operations of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, EEOC. All apprentices must be able to perform the essential functions of the job either on their own or with reasonable accommodations.

What is the criteria used to monitor the success of the employer- apprentice relationship?

The Retention Specialist will monitor the employer – apprentice relationship by assessing the apprentice’s consistency and timely presence at work; their ability to follow company protocol, rules, regulations, and procedures, and determine any barriers that the apprentice and employer may experience that would impede a successful relationship. Additionally, the Retention Specialist will analyze the apprentice’s progress in learning the trade. Once the apprentice has successfully displayed the skills necessary to satisfy the initial training, to the employer’s satisfaction, the apprentice will earn industry credentials and will be offered permanent employment. Both MOED and the Maryland Department of Labor have set record keeping and tracking protocols to measure the program’s utilization, access and workforce effectiveness.

What industries have apprenticeships?

There are many and it’s becoming more diverse. MOED efforts have centered around cyber technology, healthcare, general business, construction and transportation. MOED actively recruits apprentices in these fields among others and jobseekers have found a wide variety of job offerings in each of these fields.

Are apprenticeships competency based?

There are 3 approaches to designing an apprenticeship program. MOED uses a time based approach for its apprenticeships. Most are built as a time based approach. These approaches include;

  • Time-Based Approach:
    A method that measures skill acquisition through the individual apprentice’s completion of at least 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning as described in a work process schedule.
     
  • Competency-Based Approach:
    A method to measure skill acquisition through the individual apprentice’s successful demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge, as verified by the program sponsor.
     
  • Hybrid Approach:
    A method to measure an individual apprentice’s skill acquisition through a combination of a specified minimum number of hours of on-the-job learning and successful demonstration of competency as described in a work process schedule

Are independent and contractual workers eligible for apprenticeships?

Only workers who are paid and receive W2s are considered eligible for MOED apprenticeships.