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Policy Library

Expand Apprenticeships to Grow Good Jobs

Sometimes the hardest part of getting a better job is becoming qualified for it, especially when time without a paycheck is simply not affordable and the qualification includes an occupational license. Allowing apprenticeships to help meet occupational licensing requirements means that people can get the skills and credentials they need while still earning a paycheck.

The National Landscape

Passed in:

Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Utah

Introduced in:

Maine, Ohio
Even if a state has enacted a policy, there may be aspects to be strengthened. We can help identify ways to improve lives in your state. Please reach out to our State Line: 1-833-STATES-1.

In The News

“Licensing rules that are overly burdensome ‘can block people who would be great in that occupation’ but can’t surmount the educational and licensing barriers, Ryan Nunn, a Brookings Institution economist, told Bloomberg Law.”
“The consequences from costly licensing requirements are higher costs, and fewer choices for consumers; and, less economic opportunity for service providers. Perhaps worst of all, the service providers with the lowest income are disproportionately harmed because they are less likely to have the ability to devote the time and money necessary to obtain the licenses.”
“Because many licensed professionals offer products or services that are bought by low-income individuals, licensing laws hit the poor twice—once in the form of limiting job opportunities and then again in the form of higher prices.”


  • Employment advocates
  • Consumer advocates
  • Businesses
  • Job-seekers in fields that require licenses


  • Industries that benefit from reduced competition in licensing
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The State Line


Who does this help?
This helps millions of people looking for better jobs in fields that require occupational licenses.
Is this high-cost to the state?
No. The actual apprenticeships are provided by employers, meaning no additional costs to the state. With greater employment opportunities, job seekers will move into the state, expanding the economy and improving the workforce.
Does this place a burden on businesses?
No. Allowing apprenticeships to fulfill licensing requirements would not place any additional obligations or burdens on employers. Employers will continue to hire and train the best available employees, and there will still be multiple paths to getting needed licenses.

Model Policy

This act shall be known as the Grow Jobs through Apprenticeships Act.

To authorize the use of state regulated apprenticeships to fulfill licensure requirements necessary to perform certain occupations.


(a) The DEPARTMENT or agency responsible for the administration of STATE occupational licenses is hereby authorized to recognize qualified apprenticeships as an alternative means of obtaining occupational licenses.

(b) DEPARTMENT shall establish the criteria necessary for granting licenses under this expanded apprenticeship program.

(c) The criteria established shall include, but is not limited to:
  • (i) Completion of an apprenticeship program that:
  • (1) Is approved by the STATE Department of Labor or the United States Department of Labor, or in accordance with any applicable state or federal law; and
  • (2) Is completed either at a school that is licensed by STATE or by training with a person or employee or employer of a business licensed by STATE who holds the license for which the applicant applies; and
  • (ii) Successful completion of any examination that is required of all professionals of that trade in the state.
  • (1) The passing score on an examination must not discriminate between an applicant from an apprenticeship and an applicant from a vocational or trade school.
  • (2) If the rules adopted by the applicable licensing board do not otherwise require successful completion of an examination, then an examination may not be required for participation in the expanded apprenticeship program.

(d) The DEPARTMENT shall promulgate rules necessary to implement the expanded apprenticeship program, including limitations on the maximum and minimum number of hours required by each authorized apprenticeship.

(e) The DEPARTMENT has the right to exempt classes of occupations from the expanded apprenticeship program.