Overview of DAS

Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) mission

Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) creates opportunities for Californians to gain employable lifetime skills and provides employers with a highly skilled and experienced workforce while strengthening California's economy.

The Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) carries out this mission by administering California apprenticeship law and enforcing apprenticeship standards for wages, hours, working conditions and the specific skills required for state certification as a journeyperson in an apprenticeable occupation. DAS promotes apprenticeship training through creation of partnerships, consults with program sponsors and monitors programs to ensure high standards for on-the-job training and supplemental classroom instruction. Through this effort, the retiring skilled workforce is replenished with new skilled workers to keep California's economic engine running strong.

DAS annually awards completion certificates to the graduates of the 611 currently active apprenticeship programs in more than 500 occupations. DAS goals are two-fold: to match the needs of workers-for the skills to get and keep a decent paying job-with those of employers-for motivated workers with the skills to do the job; and to strengthen the apprenticeship alliance among industry, labor, education and government for recruiting workers and teaching the skills they and their employers need.

Professional staff of the division establishes new apprenticeship programs in any of the 800 recognized apprenticeable occupations. DAS works with the apprenticeship program sponsors and monitors their on-the-job training coupled with related instruction to ensure the high standards set by the division.

The foundation of California's apprenticeship system

California's apprenticeship system is a partnership among industry, labor, education and government.
Industry funded and industry driven, the apprenticeship system provides an effective balance between learning by doing and theoretical instruction, and developing workers with marketable skills.
California's industries and employers voluntarily sponsoring or participating in an apprenticeship program find this system of training efficient and cost effective because it eliminates expensive recruitment programs for people who are already trained, creates a diversified and flexible pool of employees with desired skills, and reduces costs of high labor turnover.

Employees show high morale and company loyalty when an apprenticeship program offers upward mobility through career development, and adapts to include training for new skills in demand by industry.

Consulting locally on new apprenticeships

From offices around the state, DAS consultants work locally with employers-and their collective bargaining partners where applicable-to develop new apprenticeship programs, determining the length of training and specific skills necessary to perform at the level required in the occupation. They help the new program sponsors locate and make arrangements with local education agencies to provide the classroom instruction that augments the on-the-job training.

DAS consultants can also help new sponsors with the standards for their program operation, as well as apprentice registration procedures, a wage progression for apprentices, and completing the elements comprising apprenticeship program standards. They arrange for payment of veterans training benefits to eligible apprentices, and assist in outreach activities to attract apprentice applicants.

Apprentices 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total 60,060 52,763 53,951 55,280 53,366
Non-minority 19,627
Minority 27,705

California Apprentices by Industry

  • Services 5%
  • Manufacturing 1%
  • Construction 70%
  • Public Administration 22%
  • Transportation & Utilities 2%

Over 53,000 apprentices in California are maintaining a time-honored system that has proved adaptable to change. As some traditional jobs disappear, new high-tech and service jobs take their place, and California's apprentices are achieving a higher level of skills than ever before to earn a living in the global marketplace

Keeping track

The division's Program Planning and Review Unit reviews all new and revised apprenticeship program standards for compliance with California apprenticeship law. The Records Unit fulfills a vital role as centralized record keeper for active apprentices statewide, in addition to graduates in the last 20 years or more.

Auditing to maintain high standards

Apprenticeship programs in California are regulated by providing for audits of DAS-approved programs to ensure they meet the high standards necessary for preparing apprentices for the workplaces of the future, and to prevent apprentice exploitation by employers or program sponsors.

Training fund created by legislation

DAS collects training contributions and deposits them into a construction only Apprenticeship Training Contribution Fund.  At the end of each fiscal year, the division distributes grant funds to approved apprenticeship programs in the craft and geographic area each serves.  Applications and instructions for grants are available at http://www.dir.ca.gov/das/ProgramSponsor.htm.

Apprentice complaints

The division's Investigations Unit also handles complaints or appeals filed by apprentices regarding their program sponsors. Following conclusion of investigations and hearings, a formal determination is issued by the administrator of apprenticeship, DIR's director.

Contributing to One-Stop Centers

California's apprenticeship system is one link of the California Workforce Investment Board's (CWIB) federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) One-Stop Centers located throughout the state. The centers provide a full range of services for job seekers and employers. CWIB staff is working with DAS, the California community colleges and Department of Education to link apprenticeship programs with training and services offered through the one-stop system.

Veterans - Learn, earn and collect

DAS offers a unique opportunity for veterans. DAS consultants can assist you in finding programs that qualify and help you navigate the process of obtaining benefits. The DAS programs offer flexibility, honor you as a veteran by enabling you to collect your earned GI Bill benefit and set you on a lifelong career path.

Apprenticeship in the United States

California is one of 27 states who set their own standards for apprenticeship. California has significantly higher standards for apprenticeship than the Department of Labor.

  • California with 53,000 apprentices is significantly larger than the next largest states of New York and Pennsylvania with 16,500 and 12,000 respectively.

On the Internet from DAS: http://www.dir.ca.gov/apprenticeship.html

  • notice of public meetings
  • Apprenticeship Information Guide
  • public works apprenticeship committees directory
  • public works forms
  • frequently asked questions
  • School-to-Career/A Guide for Educators
  • orientation to apprenticeship resource guide
  • governor's proclamation honoring California
  • testimonials
  • Title 8 regulations
  • Annual Report on Activities to the Legislature and the Public
  • office locations statewide