When high school students and young adults think about a career, many of them consider registered apprenticeship programs offered by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Employers involved with the program – some for as long as 30 to 40 years – recognize the value of registering and training apprentices as young as 16 years old. They also recognize the possible risks involved in hiring young people in potentially dangerous work environments such as construction. For this reason, occupational safety and health awareness must be a top priority for both employers and apprentices.
To give workplace safety its appropriate place in apprenticeship training, The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry requires employers to use various programs, safety classes and safety coordinators to ensure that safety standards established by OSHA and the Department are followed. Most employers follow these measures to keep their employees and apprentices safe on the job.
In Campbell County, for example, the Technical Center promotes and oversees a number of apprenticeship programs including automotive mechanics and body work, construction trades, machining, and welding. The regular six-week review of programs includes job progress and an evaluation of safety standards. Students complete their training with job skills and workplace safety knowledge and habits.
The vision of the Department’s Registered Apprenticeship Program is to promote a productive, well-trained, safe workforce for the Commonwealth. For further information on apprenticeship programs, visit the Department’s web site at www.doli.virginia.gov