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Grow Your Future Talent: All About Pre-Apprenticeships for Employers

Graphic displaying title of the blog: "All About Pre-Apprenticeships for Employers"

Pre-Apprenticeship. What does it mean? Let’s first breakdown the word and discuss what an apprenticeship is; a program that trains a person to become skilled in a specific profession or trade. So when “pre” is added on, it’s to indicate that the program is intended for a younger worker (in our case, high school students) to learn about the industry before committing to a full apprenticeship. According to the Ohio Department of Education, pre-apprenticeship programs “teach basic technical and job readiness skills for a designated apprentice occupation or sector to prepare students for a formal registered apprenticeship training program”. 
So, what are the benefits for an employer or business to begin a pre-apprenticeship program at their workplace? One of the biggest attractions is that it helps develop your own future workforce talent. Other benefits include: 

  • Positive promotion for your company in the community 
  • Increases employee retainment 
  • Allows custom training for your workforce needs 
  • Advances equity and prepares underrepresented populations 
  • Creates a direct employment pathway
Now, are you interested in starting a pre-apprenticeship program at your workplace with a local school district? The following are the steps to do so, but remember, you are not alone! We are here to support you in every step of the way. 

  1. Let the ESCCO help you identify the industry cluster that supports the needs of your business 
  2. The school district and the business meet together to craft the needed components of a pre-apprenticeship plan. These include: 
    1. Application process 
    2. Qualifications needed to participate 
    3. Coursework to teach the needed skills and competencies for the occupation 
    4. Work-based learning plan 
    5. Alignment to a registered apprenticeship program
  3. Submit the completed plan to ApprenticeOhio for Approval

I’m sure you have more questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] to learn more. But before you do that, here are a few frequently asked questions to get you started: 

  1. Do pre-apprenticeship participants have to be paid? 
    1. It increases participation if employers choose to pay the participants, but it can also be an unpaid work-based learning experience. 
  2. Are there requirements for the employers to serve as the WBL providers? 
    1. The only requirement is that employers must be willing to fulfill all of the requirements that are outlined in the pre-apprenticeship plan. 
  3. Is there an hour requirement for a pre-apprenticeship program? 
    1. There is no hour requirement for an Apprenticeship program. It is based on mastery of competencies which must be outlined in the instructional component of your plan. 
  4. Which students are eligible to participate in a pre-apprenticeship program? 
    1. Eligibility is determined by the district/business developing the pre-apprenticeship plan and must be outlined clearly in your pre-apprenticeship plan. 

Pre-apprenticeship programs are one way districts and schools can offer rich, engaging opportunities to all students to help them plan for their future careers. Learn more at

There will be an in-person meeting on November 1, 2022, as part 1 of the Recognized Pre-Apprenticeship Forum. Register to learn more at