Youth Apprenticeship

Youth Apprenticeship (YA) is a particular type of work-based learning for Minnesota secondary students 16 years of age and older.

  • YA experiences focus on career preparation and training within a specific career pathway;
  • YA experiences require a minimum of 450 hours for completion;
  • YA experiences are always paid experiences;
  • YA experiences lead to an industry-recognized credential of value (“a recognized credential of academic and occupational proficiency” Minn. Stat. § 124D.47) for the student youth apprentice whenever possible. Example credentials of value can include an industry certification, articulated postsecondary credits, and hours towards (adult) Registered Apprenticeship.
Youth Apprenticeship partnerships are formed locally with the school district’s Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator (who is an appropriately licensed work-based learning coordinator) acting as navigator for the planning process leading to an application for a state-approved program.

Program Approval occurs at the district level and requires renewal every five years on a state cycle. Online program approval requires the signature of the district principal or superintendent, the file folder number of an appropriately licensed instructor, a syllabus for the career seminar with required components, a list of the advisory committee membership, and initialed assurances. In addition, the partnership submits a copy of their Training Agreement template to be used (this can be a blank template) and the Training Plan documents to be used for each occupational preparation work experience.

The Training Plan documents include the Schedule of Work Processes, Schedule of Safety Training, and the Schedule of Related Technical Instruction. The Training Plan should identify the occupational credential which students will attain and the Schedule of Work Processes includes activities aimed at helping the student work toward occupational competency proficiency. Competency-based measures are used to evaluate each student’s progress in the Youth Apprenticeship Program.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s Talent Pipeline facilitates communication with industry partners. These meetings have resulted in the creation of a set of needed technical and employability skills that lead to specific industry credentials. This information can be used by local Youth Apprenticeship partnerships to create the Schedule of Work Processes and to identify an occupational credential for the youth apprentice.