About the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards

What is Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations. It combines on-the-job learning under the supervision of experienced journey workers with related classroom instruction. It is sponsored by employers, employer associations, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation. The employment opportunity is the most basic requirement for an apprenticeship. Without a job there is no "on-the-job" learning, and such training represents about 90% of the program. Apprentices who successfully complete the prescribed number of training hours in an apprenticeship program become certified skilled workers. A written agreement between the apprentice and the sponsor is registered with the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, Department of Workforce Development.

Administrative Authority

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is the state agency that has primary responsibility for implementing and monitoring apprenticeship programs in Wisconsin. Specific responsibility for administering apprenticeship program standards is held by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS), which is located in the Department's Division of Employment and Training.

Statewide Network of Apprenticeship Staff

State apprenticeship staff, also known as Apprenticeship Training Representatives (ATRs), are assigned specific local construction committees for purposes of oversight and to assist with program administration. The ATRs work with the committees to help local committee members interpret laws, as well as BAS rules and regulations and to provide technical assistance. They also develop apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs and work with all groups interested in promoting apprenticeship in Wisconsin.

ATRs are also responsible for providing oversight of local committees including conducting Quality Assessment reviews and Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance reviews. These reviews are valuable to apprenticeship sponsors when it comes to evaluating the overall effectiveness and operation of their program required by DWD Chapter 295 and their progress toward meeting affirmative action goals as required by DWD Chapter 296.

Administrative Partnerships

Wisconsin Technical College System

The BAS jointly reviews classroom training with the Wisconsin Technical College Board, which has responsibility for conducting most of the classroom instruction connected with the apprenticeship programs. The BAS also works closely with State and Local Construction Apprenticeship Committees for all major trades, labor unions, employers, recognized apprenticeship training centers and employer associations to ensure a high level of quality and consistency in Wisconsin's apprenticeship programs.  Learn more about the Wisconsin Technical College System.

Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council

The mission of the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council is to provide Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards and the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) with advice and consultation on all matters pertaining to the effective operation of the Wisconsin Apprenticeship System. Learn more about the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Council.

State Trade Committees

The State Trade Advisory Committees are a very important part of the advisory structure that advises BAS in the administration of the apprenticeship program and in communicating with all the partners in the apprenticeship program. Just as the Advisory Council handles overall apprenticeship policy, the State trade committees handle policy relating to their trade. State Committee duties include:

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