The Youth Apprenticeship program was established with the “Arkansas Youth Apprenticeship/Work-Based Learning Act of 1991.” It was determined by the legislature that

  1. Workplace changes were profoundly altering and increasing the skills required of workers and managers.
  2. Schools were struggling to improve the basic skills of school age children from “at risk” household where children tend to leave school early.
  3. Non-college bound youth spend their first years after high school unemployed or job-hopping from one low skills job to another.
  4. Jobs created in the 1990’s will require some post-secondary education.
  5. Most employers in the United States lack a tradition of strong employee training.

It was determined that the establishment of a youth apprenticeship program could contribute significantly to addressing these problems by providing Arkansas’ non-college bound young people with additional opportunities to develop meaningful job skills.

Youth apprenticeship programs are operated by a consortium of employers, employer associations, high schools, colleges, universities, local community government and service organizations to draw students into occupations that are needed in their region of the state.

The Youth Apprenticeship Work-Based Learning program offers the students a coherent sequence of rigorous academic and technical courses along with a structured work-based learning component which provides high-quality supervised learning opportunities at the work site. This prepares them for successful completion of state academic standards and more advanced postsecondary education and work experiences related to their career cluster interest.

The youth apprenticeship program is under the supervision of the Department of Workforce Education (DWE), Workforce Training Office. The following is the 2007-2008 career and technical course code for youth apprenticeship:

493950 Youth Apprenticeship Credit: 1 Grade Levels 11-12

This course code is for recognized DWE-approved youth apprenticeship programs, and it may be used to meet State graduation requirements.

Licensure is required to teach in the youth apprenticeship program. The licensure may be in any area of education.