Starting Your Program

Restaurant and Lodging Apprenticeship Photos

Putting Your Program Together

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Consider apprenticeship as a strategy for your company to find and develop skilled workers.

Registered Apprenticeships are expanding to include new industries, new formats, and new opportunities for a diverse group of apprentices, because they work

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Recognize that there's power in partnerships.

Don't go at it alone. NRAEF and AHLA already have standards of apprenticeship approved and ready to go, saving you time and money. We are ready to connect you with the national apprenticeship work on hospitality, and have an array of tools, financial assistance, and partnerships ready to help you develop a plan to explore and implement apprenticeship options for your company. We can help you stay informed of resources to enhance your program, while offering the extra support your program participants need to reinforce learning, be job ready, and feel supported.

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Start building the core components of your hospitality apprenticeship plan.

Design and build your apprenticeship plan with NRAEF and AHLA. We will work closely with you to crosswalk the skills and competencies apprentices need to master, along with your company's current offerings, to design a program that complements your needs. Programs can be customized to meet the needs of hospitality employers and the skills of apprentices.

Components of a Registered Apprenticeship

graphic of the Components of a Registered Apprenticeship
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Aren't apprenticeships only for unions? Will my employees be expected to join a union?

No—in fact, 93 percent of new apprenticeship programs are non-union according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship.

Flexibility in Program Design

Apprenticeship programs can be customized to meet the needs of hospitality employers and the skills of apprentices.

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Competency-Based Program

This apprenticeship program is a competency-based program. In competency-based programs, apprentices progress at their own pace—they demonstrate competency in skills and knowledge through proficiency tests, but are not required to complete a specific number of hours.

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Flexibility in Related Instruction

Related instruction can be based at the school, provided at the job site, or completed online. It can take place during work time or after work hours to accommodate the needs of employers and the workers balancing learning and life.

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Flexibility in Training Model

The training components can be arranged in different ways to develop a model that works for both companies and apprentices. In a traditional apprenticeship model, apprentices receive both related instruction and on-the-job training concurrently throughout the program. A pre-apprenticeship can also be built into the program, where essential basic skills are learned and then individuals are accepted into the apprenticeship program, sometimes receiving credit for prior experience.


Partnerships can help you recruit and train top talent for your workforce—and can play many different of roles within your apprenticeship program. Economic development organizations can serve as conveners of companies in the region. The K-12 educational system can help develop pipelines to apprenticeship for students. Community-based organizations may have capacity to help certain worker populations, such as women or veterans, and can provide supportive services to apprentices. The public workforce system can help you recruit and train your workers using available federal funds. Federal and state apprenticeship systems are there to assist you in implementing your registered apprenticeship program.

Critical Partners

  • Implement the skills and knowledge that apprentices must learn as identified by industry
  • Hire new workers or identify current employees to be apprentices
  • Provide on-the-job training
  • Identify an experienced mentor to work with apprentices
  • Pay progressively higher wages as skills increase
  • Provide or support related instruction in house or in partnership with others
  • Provide technical assistance to each employer throughout the entire journey – serving as an advisor and helping to guide you through the program from A to Z.
  • Provide industry and/or workforce-specific expertise (e.g., curriculum development) to support employers in a particular industry sector
  • Serve as sponsor of an apprenticeship program taking responsibility for the administration of the program (thereby reducing the burden on employers)
  • Aggregate demand for apprentices, particularly with small- and medium-size employers, that may not have the capacity to develop an apprenticeship program on their own
  • Provide related instruction and supportive services as appropriate.

Additional Partners

  • Develop curriculum for related instruction
  • Deliver related instruction to apprentices
  • Offer or align college credit for successfully completed courses
  • Aggregate demand for apprentices
  • Contribute funding for on-the-job training or related instruction
  • Recruit and screen candidates to be apprentices
  • Provide pre-apprenticeship and basic skills preparation
  • Provide supportive services (such as tools, uniforms, equipment, or books)
  • Provide technical assistance and support to new sponsors
  • Answer questions about the apprenticeship model
  • Guide the partners through the steps to develop and register a program
  • Connect companies with training providers
  • Advise partners on sources of funding to support apprenticeships
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