APPRENTICESHIP

In 1942, the Division of Apprenticeship Standards approved the Fresno Area Plumbers, Pipe and Refrigeration Fitters Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee to train apprentices for the Piping Industry. Through the years, the Training Program has seen many changes in the industry and has always provided training in the latest methods used in the industry. Even though the Program would be considered small by some, only 40 apprentices, this has not stopped the advancement of training covering the latest in technology.

The Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee is made up of three representatives from management representing the Mechanical Contractors Association and three members from UA Local 246 representing labor. In addition, the Committee has a director of training who carries out the business of the Committee on a day to day basis.

Over the years, the Committee has developed a very strict set of Rules and Regulations which are followed and enforced to the fullest. The Rules and Regulations are required because it is not cheap to provide training at no cost to apprentices and this insures that only those who will be an asset to the Local Union and the Industry will receive the benefits of serving an apprenticeship in the Program.

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is one of the oldest forms of vocational training known to man. It is a mutual investment in human capital by employers, employees, and public agencies. Apprenticeship is a system of training that meets the needs of a particular industry or occupation. The Program sponsor and the employer provide the career training. The apprentice provides potential for becoming a valued skilled member of the employers' and the nation's work force.

The planned training involves a progression of tasks on the job, under supervision, combined with Related and Supplemental Instruction in a classroom setting which integrates the why and how of the job.

An apprentice is a full-time employee, whose beginning salary is a percentage of the skilled worker rate, and who is assigned progressively complex tasks with corresponding salary adjustments until occupational proficiency is achieved.

The length of the apprenticeship is five years with 10 advancement periods. If the apprentice meets the requirements of the program, an advancement is given every six months which also includes a wage increase.

What are the benefits of becoming an apprentice?

The benefits that one receives as an apprentice are many and vary accordingly as the apprentice progresses with their apprenticeship. Paid employment while training for a career is probably the number one benefit. Secondly, is the fact that training received in an apprenticeship is offered without cost. The only cost to an apprentice is the yearly cost of textbooks.

Other benefits are:

  • An opportunity to become proficient in an occupation by attending Related and Supplemental Instruction Classes that are integrated with the work
  • An opportunity to become uniquely qualified with state-issued credentials recognized throughout the industry or occupation for the skills involved in the Apprenticeship Program

As an apprentice, what are my responsibilities?

Apprentices are required to attend Related and Supplemental Instruction Classes two nights per week. The classes usually are for three hours: 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Classes are held for approximately 10 months per year.

As an apprentice, you will be required to maintain a 75% grade point average at all times. As an apprentice, you are expected to report to work on time everyday and be ready to work. You will be expected to get along with your co-workers and follow directions as given.