DIR Establishes California's First Green Apprenticeship Occupation
SAN FRANCISCO, March 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DIR/DAS), today released apprenticeship guidelines for apprenticable occupations in green technology in California. These guidelines are intended to provide guidance to apprenticeship programs that will develop talent and build future workforces, for the photovoltaic industry.
The recognition of an occupation does not include the setting of rates for wages and benefits for that occupation. The process only recognizes occupations, which then allows the establishment of apprenticeship programs and the development of curriculum for the training of apprentices.
The determination to recognized photovoltaic installers as a craft for apprenticeship was made following public hearings held in Northern and Southern California. Apprenticeship programs for this occupation must incorporate, as a minimum, a program that is 24 months or 3,200 hours.
During the public hearings, DAS identified several issues concerning the scope of a photovoltaic installer apprenticeship program:
- The size and generation capacity of the installation where this occupation is found seems generally to be 250 KW or less. It was determined that multiple trades would likely perform work in connection with larger installations.
- Installation work by a photovoltaic installer does not involve work past the "combiner box."
- Training in the installation of photovoltaic materials is not a substitute for full training in the installation and use of traditional materials. For instance, a photovoltaic installer trained to install roofing materials with photovoltaic properties is not considered a trained roofer.
With the recognition of photovoltaic installers as a new occupation, employers or existing apprenticeship programs can submit applications to establish a program for this occupation. To date, DAS has received eight applications. Once these applications are approved, minimum training criteria will be established by the California Apprenticeship Council.
Apprenticeship is a system of learning while earning, and "learning by doing." It combines training on the job with related and supplemental instruction by connecting employers with public education. Apprenticeship instills loyalty that pays dividends through higher employee retention rates and motivated apprentices which leads to increased productivity and a higher quality of work.
Established within DIR in 1945, DAS enforces California labor law in apprenticeship programs to protect their integrity. DAS also fosters, promotes and develops employment-based apprenticeship training programs correlated with related and supplemental classes provided by local education agencies.
For more information apprenticeship programs, visit the DAS web site at www.dir.ca.gov/das.
SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations
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