Upon military retirement or separation, veterans are suddenly faced with not only the question of “what next?” but “where?” and “with who?” Apprenticeship programs for veterans offer a unique career path.
An apprenticeship or on-the-job (OTJ) training program is an effective way for veterans to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. These programs allow veterans to learn a trade rather than going through a formal education system. A veteran will enter into a free paid apprenticeship training program for a stated period of time. At the end of the training period, the veteran is granted job certification or achieves journeyman status.
Who Can Utilize Apprenticeships?
Veterans, as well as those currently in the Guard/Reserve, may use their GI Bill benefit to participate in an apprenticeship or OTJ training program. These programs serve as an effective way to prepare for a career while earning a salary.
While veterans are participating in their apprenticeship program, the VA will provide a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) based on how long the training will last. The company will also pay the veteran a salary (which initially must be at least 50% of the journeyman wage) throughout the course of their training. Take a look at the full breakdown of the benefit scale for your GI Bill.
How Does Your GI Bill Work With Apprenticeships?
Typically, the VA benefit will decrease every six months, with the employer-paid salary increasing every six months. By the last month of training, the wage paid by the company must be at least 85% of that paid to a full-time employee of that same position. Veterans can also use their GI Bill benefit to receive tax-free benefits.As the competition for qualified veteran talent grows more fierce, apprenticeship programs offer employers a unique advantage. By being able to recruit virtually any veteran who wants to enter the workforce, the talent pool from which approved companies can recruit is greater than those that require specific degrees or experience for their positions.
How Do Companies Become Approved For Veteran Apprenticeships?
Employers wishing to become approved must first contact their State Approving Agency.
Companies are also able to benefit from the GI Bill Apprenticeship Credit program by tapping into the veteran talent pool to stock their prospect pipelines. By training veterans to do specific jobs in-house, companies can be comfortable hiring those veterans as full-time employees at the conclusion of their training period.
To learn more about the GI Bill approved Apprenticeship and On-The-Job Training Programs, head over to the VA website.