El Camino College has developed a three-step apprenticeship model that has been embraced by industry. The model includes an 8-week co-operative education program that allows the potential apprentice to get to know the employer and the employer to get to know the potential apprentice. The employer-centric apprenticeship pathway includes:
Step 1: Pre-Apprenticeship: Students complete two to three foundational college courses, including safety and job readiness workshops. Students then are recruited for Step 2 based on employer needs.
Step 2: Cooperative Education Program: Companies interview pre-apprentices for an 8-week co-op that helps students acquire valuable industry experience while exploring fit with the potential employer. Students receive college credit that applies to their certificate or degree. Employers see this co-op program as an “8-week interview” to select students for their apprenticeship program and, after completing the co-op, students interview for an apprenticeship position. Students not selected are referred to other employers for interviews.
Step 3: Apprenticeship Program: The apprenticeship program may last 2 to 4 years per employer requirements. The employer determines the skills standards for the apprenticeship program. Apprentices to gain valuable skills and complete their apprenticeship program, and are then awarded a certificate from Department of Labor and California DAS. The apprenticeship program is aligned to help apprentices continue their education to complete a certificate or degree past the end of their apprenticeship program.