There are many union apprenticeship and training opportunities in Montana. These training facilities are the brain child of labor unions. They are usually created and supported in conjunction with union employers. The union's goal is to ensure that the union membership is the highest skilled, safest, and most productive workforce available. The employer's goal is to have a pool of skilled union members on hand and on demand so the employer can be the most competitive, highest quality contractor possible.
The two types of training offered fall into two main categories; apprenticeship training, and journeyman upgrade training. Within each type of training students are taught safe work practices and OSHA safety standards (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
The registered apprenticeship system of training is unique in that it is the only formal, structured, and nationally recognized education and training program available that combines the two most common forms of occupational learning; classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Apprentices learn through classroom instruction and hands-on training in a safe learning environment for a defined period of time each year of their apprenticeship but they are also placed with a union employer for hands-on, paid, on-the-job training. Students learn and practice all phases of the trade in real-world applications.
The apprenticeship programs are registered with the State of Montana Apprenticeship & Training Program so upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate from the State of Montana identifying them as a skilled journeyman in their trade. Apprenticeship is one of the oldest forms of skill training where new-comers to an industry work alongside skilled craftsman to achieve the greatest understanding, skill-level, and valuable tricks of the trade. The wages paid to apprentices are a portion of the skilled wage rate that increases throughout the term of training in accordance with a predetermined union negotiated wage scale. Apprentices will earn union negotiated benefits equivalent to journeyman.
The apprenticeship programs train men and women to craftsman status. The programs shape students with character, aptitude, motivation and good personality traits into competent journeyman and journeywomen who have in-demand skill sets, comprehensive knowledge, positive attitudes and superior abilities.
Apprenticeship programs are funded through negotiated contribution rates paid by union employers on behalf of union members, based on the number of hours worked by each journeyman throughout each work season. Cost to apprentices to recieve the training is very low. The expectation of each apprentice is to return the value of the training recieved by providing their skills to the membership and employers who funded it.
JOURNEYMAN UPGRADE TRAINING
Apprenticeship and training programs are also committed to developing and providing skills upgrade training to keep the journeyman-level workforce current in the newest techonologies. Many training programs work directly with equipment manufacturers and technology developers of a variety of tools and equipment to bring cutting edge skills, knowledge, and experience to journeyman and journeywomen.