How to Create an OJT or Apprenticeship Program for Veterans
Did you know that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created a program which allows companies to utilize GI Bill funds to create apprenticeship and/or on-the-job training programs for Veterans? Participating Veterans will receive monthly training benefits from the VA in addition to their regular salary when being trained for a new job through an approved program. The VA pays the Veteran GI Bill benefits depending on the amount of time they are enrolled in the program.
- Must be eligible for the GI Bill.
- Must have been honorably discharged from Active Duty less than 10 years ago.
- Veterans may not receive GI Bill OJT benefits at the same time they receive the GI Bill education benefits. The Apprenticeship / OJT Program is an alternative use of GI Bill funds for the Veteran.
- Cannot have previous experience in the field for which they are being hired.
Creating an Eligible Apprenticeship / OJT Program
- Employers can be private, local, or state government.
- Veteran trainees must be supervised at least 50% of the time.
- Job training must lead to an entry-level position (management programs do not qualify).
- The program must provide all of the job skills and related training the Veteran will need to be fully qualified for the job.
- Must be a full-time paid employee, not a commission based role.
- The job must require at least six months of training in order to become fully trained.
- The beginning wage must be at least 50% of the wage for a fully trained employee; and must be equal to the wage paid to a non-VA trainee at a similar level of training.
- Training must be documented and reported.
Although participation requirements are the same for all GI Bill programs, depending on the apprenticeship program offered by employers, payment amounts can vary. In the example below, an employer offering a first-year salary of $23/hour can effectively pay a veteran employee $29.87/hour through GI Bill funding.
How to Get Started
Employers must contact their State Approving Agency for Veterans Education, which is the agency responsible for determining which programs are appropriate for Veterans to enroll in and utilize their VA educational benefits. Find your State Approving Agency for Veterans Education here.