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Pre-Apprenticeship is one to two years of customized high school academics coupled with up to 1,000 hours of on-the-job learning during the 11th and/or 12th grades. Upon graduating, Pre-Apprentices may enter full-time employment as Registered Apprentices. Many apprentices matriculate into the Trades and Technical Occupations Degree Program (TTO degree).

Program Steps:

  • The student enters the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program as a high school junior and works for the employer part time during his/her junior and senior school years and either part or full-time during the summer.
  • When the pre-apprentice graduates from school, he/she also completes the Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
  • The student receives a Certificate of Completion of Pre-Apprenticeship from the Maine Apprenticeship Committee, and can then choose to enter the Maine Apprenticeship Program.
  • If he/she does enter the Maine Apprenticeship Program, then his/her on-the-job learning time in the Pre-Apprenticeship Program will count towards the Maine Apprenticeship Program.

Goals of the Maine Pre-Apprenticeship Program

  • Provide 16 to 21 year olds with a link between education in the classroom and skill training in the workplace.
  • Create work experience opportunities in apprenticeable occupations for juniors and seniors through High School Technology Centers, Regions, and other Secondary Schools.
  • Collaborate with existing services in the schools and workforce training system to assist, educate, and place students and dropouts in Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Programs.

Pre-Apprenticeship Guidelines

  • Each Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program must include:
    • Formalized selection process
    • Outline of the program
    • Formalized evaluation system
    • Pre-determined length of program
  • Each Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program Standard shall be:
    • Approved by the Maine Apprenticeship Committee
    • Limited to 1,000 hours of training, of which at least 250 hours should be job exposure
  • The employer must have a Registered Apprenticeship Program.
  • Upon entry into the Registered Pre-Apprenticeship program, a "letter of intent to hire" is generated and signed by an authorized company representative, the pre-apprentice/parent or guardian, and the Maine Apprenticeship Committee.

Program Activities

  • Identify eligible students with specific occupational interests
  • Work with school or job training staff to assess the interests, abilities, and skills of students
  • Recruit, enroll, and place qualified young people with employers/sponsors
  • Identify community businesses interested and eligible for establishing Pre-Apprenticeship Programs
  • Promote the program opportunities in the business and educational communities

Getting Started

Students are given an application form to fill out. If the student applies at the high school, the information is sent to the vocational Guidance Office, who, in turn, shares the information with the Work Based Learning Coordinator or Job Training Staff. Once the student applies, the interview process begins.

There are three ways to enter the Pre-Apprenticeship Program:

  • Student is enrolled in a Work Based Learning Program
  • Student is an applicant to the Job Training Program
  • Student is a junior or senior, enrolled in a career and technical education program, and goes to the job site during lab periods or after school