Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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South Dakota e-Labor Bulletin

July 2019

Building a Quality Workforce with Apprenticeships

Registered Apprenticeships (RA) are a great way for businesses to build a quality workforce with the exact skills needed to fill openings, plus RAs are proven to reduce turnover. We constantly hear about workforce shortages – this is a solution.

A business can sponsor and manage all aspects of the program, or partner with an established sponsor. Individuals get paid while getting the training in their chosen career through this “earn and learn” model (which is on-the-job training, plus classroom instruction). Plus, there’s no education debt to them.

Despite any myths apprenticeships are only in the trades occupations, opportunities are available in thousands of industries – from construction and commercial trades to healthcare and service industries.

The Department of Labor and Regulation can help businesses learn what it takes to be a sponsor. Visit to complete a simple form. A DLR representative will then contact you to walk through the process.

Other business partner benefits include:

  • Customized training that results in highly skilled employees trained to industry/employer specification
  • Increased productivity and knowledge transfer due on-the-job learning from an assigned mentor combined with related technical instruction
  • Enhanced retention - 87 percent of program completers in 2011 were still employed nine months after completing their apprenticeship.
  • Emphasis on safety training that may reduce workers' compensation costs
  • A stable and predictable pipeline for development of qualified workers - for every dollar spent on apprenticeship; employers get approximately $1.47 ROI
  • Recognition of the training program
  • A systematic approach to training to ensure employees are trained and certified to produce at the highest skill levels required for that occupation
  • The ability to conduct a ready assessment of progress in terms of continuous improvement
  • A proven training model that allows employers to set the benchmark and the structure that can determine the return on investment in training dollars

Businesses are best positioned to make the Registered Apprenticeship process work. The State can help explain the steps, but businesses need to own this strategy. We encourage local employers to look at this model.