Youth Apprenticeship

Youth apprenticeships are programs designed to combine academic and technical classroom instruction with work experience through a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Youth apprenticeships are intended for high school students with a minimum age of 16. 

Youth Apprenticeship Requirements

  • Paid position
  • Follows the same structure as an Apprenticeship program
  • Combine on-the-job learning with classroom instruction (minimum of 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning and a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction).
  • Include a written agreement between the school, employer, student, and parent.
  • Offer training specific to a particular career.
  • In some instances, provide college credit.

Child Labor Law Overview

Consultative Services

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development offers employers the opportunity to review practices to determine if working conditions at a facility are conducive to employing minors in a youth apprenticeship program. A consultant from the Department’s Labor Standards Unit will visit a facility and complete and assessment of working conditions. Following Tennessee law, the consultant will work with an employer to ensure an allowable safe working environment.

Prior to the assessment, the employer will work with the Office of Apprenticeships to compile the following information.

  • Course Curriculum for apprenticeship program (welding, chef, etc.)
  • Description of job duties
  • List of all equipment that will be used
  • PPE / HAZCOM training requirements
  • Department of Education  - forms to be completed by the student 
    • Hazardous Occupation Exemption Form
    • Work-based Learning Insurance & Emergency Information
    • Work-based Learning Agreement
    • Work-based Learning Safety Log

If the company has a Registered Apprenticeship Program, and employs 16-18 year olds in a Youth Apprenticeship program, then the minors are exempt from the child labor laws.  Companies are required to maintain documentation of the Youth Apprenticeship and provide proof the minors are enrolled in the program if inspected.