FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2005-42
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Internet: http://www.dir.ca.gov

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Renee Bacchini
(415) 703-5050


DIR announces October is Apprenticeship Month

San Francisco - The Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR), Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) is honoring apprenticeships in the month of October, named for the anniversary of the 1939 signing of the Shelley-Maloney Act which established the basic features of California's apprenticeship program.

"Apprenticeship programs are truly one of California's best kept secrets. In this time of retiring baby boomers there are shortages of skilled workers to take their place," said John Rea, acting director of DIR. "There are abundant opportunities for career seekers to earn money while learning a skill and developing a life long career. Apprenticeships currently exist in the building trades, healthcare, firefighting and biotechnology."

Not only is DAS there for the apprentice, they are available to the employer that wants to utilize an on-the-job training or apprentice program. Nearly any industry or occupation can develop an apprenticeship program. DAS provides consultative services to apprenticeship program sponsors, employers, employee organizations and education providers. Using the apprenticeship system for training allows an employer to train individuals to their specifications, create a loyal workforce and saves on recruiting costs.

DAS was established within DIR in 1945 to enforce the labor law in regards to apprenticeships and protect the integrity of the program. DAS fosters, promotes and develops employment-based apprenticeship training programs correlated with related and supplemental instruction classes that are provided by local education agencies. The term 'apprenticeship" should not be used to describe an internship, volunteer work or simply an assistant.

The DAS Web site at www.dir.ca.gov has information for both the apprentice and the employer sponsor. There is also a special portal called "Opportunity is Knocking" that has a quick reference for potential apprentices and interested employers in how to get started, in addition to personal stories from apprentices who have made great changes in their lives through the apprenticeship program. The address to the portal is http://www.dir.ca.gov/Apprenticeship/index.htm or can be reached from the DIR home page "opportunity is knocking" link.

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Note to media: Apprentices/graduates available for interviews.