youth apprenticeship


A program for youth (ages 16 to 24) currently enrolled in secondary education or pursuing a high school equivalency, including those with disabilities, that include, at minimum, the following:

  1. 450 hours of paid on-the-job training under the supervision of a mentor.
  2. At least two semesters of related instruction that ideally counts towards a high school and/or postsecondary credential but minimally leads to an industry credential.
  3. Ongoing and final assessments measuring success in mastering skill standards.
  4. Career exploration, where participants learn about several positions within the employer and the field.
  5. Wraparound supports (e.g. case management and counseling) and holistic upskilling (e.g. technical skills and soft skills).
  6. Support to apply for one or more of the following upon successfully completing the program: entry-level employment, admission to a registered or non-registered apprenticeship program, or admission to other articulated postsecondary education options (including 2- and 4-year programs).

    • Program sponsors may serve a subset of youth within the 16-24 age range instead of the full range.

    • Programs must include a documented partnership with an employer.

    • For any sector where an industry credential does not yet exist, a group of Illinois employers that are representative of the industry (including small, medium, and large firms) should determine the critical core competencies that participants should learn through the apprenticeship and agree to a formal process for recognizing mastery of those competencies.


Illinois Workforce Innovation Board Apprenticeship Committee Youth Apprenticeship Working Group. (2021, September 14). Recommendations for Expansion of Youth Apprenticeships in Illinois.