Signed first citywide Joint Apprenticeship Committee agreement

On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the City and County of San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed, Northern California District Council of Laborers, LiUNA!, Local 261, San Francisco City Attorney's Office and the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards, signed the first citywide Joint Apprenticeship Committee agreement! This partnership will open up many apprenticeship opportunities for community members to quality city jobs connected to permanent journey level careers in city departments such as San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and SF DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS and many others to come and with support from CITYBULD® OEWD and City College of San Francisco!

It's On-the-Job Learning and Education

The "Earn and Learn" training model of Apprenticeship provides a unique combination of structured learning with on-the-job training from an assigned journey level mentor. Related instruction, technical training or other certified training is provided by apprenticeship training centers, technical schools, and community colleges. The goal is to provide workers with advanced skillsets that meet the specific needs of departments, agencies and school districts.

It's a Credential

Upon completion of a Apprenticeship program, participants receive an industry issued, nationally recognized credential that certifies occupational proficiency, is portable, and can provide a pathway to a career. In many cases, these programs provide apprentices with the opportunity to simultaneously obtain secondary and post-secondary degrees. In 2011, over 55,000 participants nationwide graduated from an Apprenticeship program.

What are the Advantages of Apprenticeship?

The Apprenticeship system provides a wide array of benefits.

For apprentices:

  • Improved skills and competencies that meet the specific needs of the employer,
  • Incremental wage increases as their skills improve,
  • On-the-job training and occupation focused education,
  • Career advancement,
  • Industry issued, nationally recognized credential, and
  • Agreements between certain apprenticeship training programs and 2- and 4-year colleges that create opportunities for college credit and future degrees.

An apprentice is an exempt employee considered “at-will” and serves under the terms of the apprenticeship agreement and at the discretion of the appointing officer.

As an exempt employee of the City, you are eligible to the following benefits:

  • Retirement benefit upon appointment,
  • Health benefit upon appointment,
  • Vacation hours are accrued and can be used after 1 year of continued service,
  • Sick hours are accrued and can be used after 90 days of service, AND
  • Holidays hours upon appointment.

To find out more about the City’s benefits, please visit our Benefits Overview page.

An apprenticeship is a blend of classroom work and on-the-job-training. Under the direction of a journey-level professional, an apprentice learns the technical skills of crafts workers. Apprenticeship programs are revised and updated on a regular basis to meet new standards. Apprenticeships are administered by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and the United States Department of Labor. In addition, ApprenticeshipSF partners with several local unions to provide the training. The apprenticeships duration varies between two and five years, depending on the skilled trade.


In 2012, US apprenticeship proudly celebrated its 75th anniversary. At no time during US Apprenticeship's first 75 years has the role of talent been more critical to an employer, a community, a state or a nation's ability to compete economically. Apprenticeship is a training strategy that, by virtue of a legal agreement, leads to a certificate of completion and officially recognized skilled journey worker status. As the need for skilled workers increases and our economy faces greater global competition, Apprenticeship continues to be a competitive advantage for all parties-individuals, businesses, labor management organizations, education, the workforce investment system and government. Recently, to better serve the needs of today's apprentices the United States Department of Labor issued revised regulations that increase program flexibility.

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. Apprenticeship is a training strategy that, by virtue of a legal agreement, leads to a certificate of completion and officially recognized skilled journey level status. The California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) issues the completion certificates. These credentials have explicit meaning, recognition, and respect in the eyes of federal and state governments. DAS annually awards completion certificates to the graduates of the 611 active apprenticeship programs in more than 500 occupations.

The City’s ApprenticeshipSF programs are designed to move an apprentice from a low or no skill entry-level position to full journey level occupational proficiency. All ApprenticeshipSF programs must meet parameters established under both the SF City and County Civil Service System and the National Apprenticeship Act and are designed to protect the welfare of the apprentice.

An ApprenticeshipSF program is sponsored by an individual department, City agency, or the School District and is partnered with a labor organization through the memorandum of understanding. Upon finishing the training program, an apprentice earns a "Completion of Registered Apprenticeship" certificate, an industry issued, nationally recognized credential that validates proficiency in an apprenticeable occupation.