IDES - Apprenticeship




IDES’ Apprenticeship Information Center Program (AIC), in conjunction with the federal ApprenticeshipUSA Initiative, provides assistance for apprenticesh​ip candidates.  Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups, and/or employer associations.


ApprenticeshipUSA offers opportunities to earn a salary while learning the skills necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. ApprenticeshipUSA exemplifies high standards, instructional rigor and quality training. If you are a worker looking for a new career in a well-paying occupation, ApprenticeshipUSA will help you achieve your goals.  

  •  IDES supports non-trade union apprenticeship opportunities by partnering with ABC of Illinois (Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc).
  • IDES supports Chicagoland trade union apprenticeship opportunities by partnering with CISCO (Construction Industry Service Corporation) as well as individual trade unions statewide (see list of trade occupations below) to provide training opportunities for apprenticeship candidates seeking trade union positions.
  • IDES further seeks to establish and support new apprenticeship opportunities, such as pre-apprenticeship (e.g. Chicago Women In Trades), as established by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which includes the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in coordination with the U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS), working diligently to ensure that states, local areas, other grantees, and stakeholders work together to promote ApprenticeshipUSA. 
  • IDES supports the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO’s) Illinois workNet Center and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) in the steps they are taking in developing new apprenticeship opportunities in conjunction with Illinois High School Districts.  This Program is called Illinois Pathways, an innovative State of Illinois-led STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative designed to empower students to explore academic and career interests, develop skills, and access employment in careers in sectors where there will be a demand for talent.
  • IDES supports community college based apprenticeship training programs at all 48 Illinois Community Colleges.  This link provides apprenticeship training program information and options throughout the state with direct links to the schools’ web sites so you may inquire and apply directly.
  • Another partner called Young Invincibles (YI) is a non-profit organization that represents Millennial perspectives in several educational endeavors, helping guide students to the world of work, including through Apprenticeship.  They point out that Apprenticeships provide valuable opportunities for young adults, but that young adult access to and knowledge about apprenticeships remains low, leading to three key misconceptions Millennials hold about apprenticeships:  1.) that apprenticeship programs don’t currently exist in their communities, 2.) that apprenticeships don’t pay, and 3.) that participating in an apprenticeship means never receiving a college degree.  But they also advance youth-friendly apprenticeship programs.  Read their full report From Medieval to Millennial:  Building and Marketing Modern, Youth-Oriented Apprenticeship Programs​​. 



Apprenticeships offer:


     Many growing job opportunities:  During the next 10 to 15 years, the number of construction-related jobs in Illinois is expected to grow at a very healthy pace.

     Good wages:  Apprentices earn about half the going trade person’s wage to start.  Pay is gradually increased over the length of the apprenticeship period, until training is completed and the trainee graduates to full trade person status.  This Learn More Earn More labor market information link shows occupational wages and salaries for several different occupations, including trades, to give you an idea of what the jobs pay at starting and experience levels.

     Long-term, on-the-job-training:  Most apprenticeships take three to five years to complete.  The typical program includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training plus at least 144 hours per year of related classroom instruction.


To apply:

    Print this apprenticeship application 

    Fill out completely and scan/e-mail or fax it back to IDES so we may refer you (details on the form),

    Then select the apprenticeship trade(s) you are interested in by contacting them directly or by filling out their application form online if accessible.  Scroll down to the alphabetical list of links below to access the Website(s) that is/are closest to your home for:  apprenticeship training & contact information, description of duties, geographical location and specific requirements for applying.

Veterans are encouraged to apply directly below as well.


ABC of Illinois Apprenticeship Program


The Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. (ABC Illinois Chapter) provides formal apprenticeship training programs that are registered with the US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.  These programs meet all federal and state requirements for formal apprenticeship and prevailing wage work including employer sponsored classroom instruction and on-the-job training.  Upon successful completion, craft workers are recognized at the journeyman level in their trades and are awarded their apprenticeship certificates.​


Other Useful Links:


Listing of Trade Union Locals & Districts serving Illinois:

click List of Skilled Trade Labor Unions.pdfList of Skilled Trade Labor Unions for a full listing of  Skilled Trade Labor Unions. Each link gives infomation about current apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois and how trainees are recruited.  If you would like to be added to the list, please complete the ApprenticeshipTrade application and return it.