As of January 2018, MD MEP was recognized by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) as a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor for the occupations of Industrial Maintenance Technician and CNC Machinist. The programs being offered by MD MEP are among the first competency-based programs in the Nation and we are excited to provide these offerings to the manufacturers of Maryland.
What is Registered Apprenticeship?
As manufacturers throughout the State of Maryland and throughout the Country struggle to find and recruit talented and skilled workers, more and more are turning to apprenticeship to develop and grow the skills of this workforce internally. Apprenticeship program combine on-the-job learning with related instruction in technical areas to produce qualified, highly-productive employees for careers requiring precision skills. Apprenticeship training ensures workers have the knowledge and competencies companies need for today and the future.
Registered Apprenticeship programs are designed to move an apprentice from a low or no skill entry-level position to full occupational proficiency. These programs must meet parameters established under the National Apprenticeship Act that are designed to protect the welfare of the apprentice. The Act and its promulgating regulations are administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship or a State Apprenticeship Agency approved by the Secretary of Labor for federal purposes. Upon finishing the training program, an apprentice earns a “Completion of Registered Apprenticeship” certificate, an industry issued, nationally recognized credential that validates proficiency in an apprenticeable occupation.
What is the difference between traditional vs. competency based Apprenticeship?
Unlike traditional apprenticeship programs which rely on a set amount of time or hours in learning and performing tasks, Competency based Apprenticeship programs are focused on the demonstration of proficiency in a specific skill or competency in lieu of meeting time based work experience. In competency/performance based programs apprentices may accelerate the rate of competency achievement or take additional time beyond the approximate time of completion or attainment due the open entry and exit design. Competency is defined as, “An observable, measurable pattern of skills, knowledge, abilities, behaviors and other characteristics that an individual needs to perform work roles or occupational functions successfully.”
MD MEP’s industrial maintenance and machinist apprenticeship programs are the first competency-based programs of their kind in Maryland.
What is MD MEP’s role as a sponsor?
Registered Apprenticeship program sponsors identify the minimum qualifications to apply into their apprenticeship program. Program sponsors may also identify additional minimum qualifications and credentials to apply, e.g., education, ability to physically perform the essential functions of the occupation, and proof of age. Based on the selection method utilized by the sponsor, additional qualification standards, such as fair aptitude tests and interviews, school grades, and previous work experience may be identified.
What is the process to become registered under MD MEP?
Startup of an Apprenticeship Program requires intensive work including the development of tracking sheets, task identification, reporting processes and procedures (including timing, signoff and approvals). MD MEP will work with the Client to develop the tools and methods (including tracking sheets, check sheets, etc.) as well as the process flow required for the administration of the program.
Once completed, MD MEP will facilitate a join orientation / kickoff of the program for both the Client and the participating candidate.
Step 1: Registration
Upon execution of the contract, MD MEP will work with the Client to get the company listed as a registered participating employer under the apprenticeship program. This is an official registration with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, which enables the company to be eligible for training funding under the program and the participating candidate to be recognized as an official registered apprentice through the State. MD MEP will provide the forms and assistance in the completion of all required documentation.
Step 2: Program Development
Although the program is a standardized apprenticeship program around the occupation of Industrial Maintenance or Machinist, customizing the related instruction (learning components) as well as identifying which job-tasks are most relevant for your specific needs help ensure the success of the program and the ability of the programs training needs to fit the needs of the company. MD MEP will work with the Client to formalize and adapt the MD MEP Registered Apprenticeship for the occupation of Industrial Maintenance to tailor the program to meet the specific skillsets and needs of the employer. Included in this effort, the MD MEP team will meet with the Client to review and define the following:
- Related Instruction: Related instruction for the program is required to be a minimum of 144 hours / year during the course of the training. MD MEP maintains a course listing of instruction and topics that exceeds the 144-hour requirement. Through this effort, MD MEP and the Client will identify which related instructions are MOST relevant and should be included in the program.
For the related instruction, MD MEP is proposing to utilize ToolingU, an online platform with related instruction coursework specifically designed for competency-based apprenticeship around the selected occupation. This effort includes a single license for each approved participating candidate for a period of 1 year. The license is renewed annually.
- Job Task Identification: Identifying WHICH tasks are necessary for a qualified apprentice to perform to demonstrate competency is important to ensure the training meets the unique needs of the company. In this task, MD MEP will work with the Client to review the existing competency baseline (more than 200 tasks) and identify which are required, which are not needed and what additional elements should be included. These tasks involve defining how many times a task should be performed to demonstration competency.
Once the specific job tasks have been identified, the MD MEP team will work with the Client to ensure there are standardized processes defined to demonstrate competency on each task. This will also include a review of internal training that is provided or may need to be developed to teach each task. As part of this effort, MD MEP will work with the Client to determine WHO will provide the training and supervision of the job tasks as well as the development of the tools and methods to track these activities.
Step 3: Selection
In parallel with the above, the MD MEP team will work with the Client to finalize / formalize the requirements for entry into the program. This will include tenure on the job, job performance, etc. In addition, the MD MEP will present alternatives for testing, screening and selection. MD MEP can facilitate candidate selection including the testing of all candidates for screening, aptitude and placement. The team will work with the Employer to identify baseline requirements, administer testing for all candidates and assist with the selection of Apprentice candidates in accordance with the Affirmative Action Plan.
*Note Screening tests are $100.00 per person for test materials.
Step 4: Administration and Tracking
As the sponsor organization, MD MEP will provide ongoing administration and tracking of apprenticeship candidates and program delivery will be provided by the MD MEP for a period of up to two years in support of the Employer. The administration includes working with the Client to ensure all reporting requirements are being met, candidates are progressing through training and all State required reporting criteria are met.
- Finalized related instruction
- Finalized competency listing
- OJT training and procedures
- Selection criteria, testing and methods
- Startup check sheets and tracking sheets
- Administration and tracking for a period of up-to two years