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Apprenticeship programs are a great way to attract new talent to the industry. They assist companies with recruitment, training, and retention of highly skilled workers. Apprenticeships are a way to put current and potential employees on a career path that will encourage them to stay and advance in hospitality-sector jobs.

Employers see an 80% employee retention rate among program participants.

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National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Apprenticeships

Restaurant Registered Apprenticeship

This program aims to connect individuals to the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer—restaurants—through apprenticeships in several disciplines. Apprentices gain valuable on-the-job training while earning a U.S. Department of Labor-approved industry certification. The NRAEF funds the apprenticeship-related training expenses, so there is no cost to the business or the apprentice.

Apprenticeship Tracks

All tracks are available to individuals 17 or older applying for a first-time position OR to any current employees who show potential.

  • Line Cook (complete within 12 months)
  • Kitchen Manager (complete within 18 months)
  • Restaurant Manager (complete within 24 months)

Advantages of Participating for Employers

  • No cost to employer or apprentice
  • Candidates who may have already completed ProStart or other in-classroom training come equipped with technical skills
  • Improves retention rates
  • Builds a diverse, engaged, and competent staff
  • Can attract more job applicants as it enhances your benefits package
  • Increase staff productivity

Advantages of Participating for Apprentices

  • Job Stability: Apprenticeships have an 80% retention rate nationwide
  • Good Pay: The average wage increase for employees over the course of their apprenticeship is 14%
  • Excellent Opportunities: Placement options include every type/style of restaurant
  • Professional Development: Additional training and certifications are available at no cost to you

Program Requirements for Employers

  • Commit to training your apprentice for as long as it takes for them to gain the needed competencies
  • Provide at least one wage increase during their tenure
  • Provide on-the-job training in culinary skills, safety and sanitation, and management and leadership
  • Training course component is provided by the NRAEF or community partner

Program Expectations for Apprentices

  • Dedication to learning culinary skills, safety & sanitation, and management & leadership skills
  • Commitment to the program for as long as it takes to gain the required skills and complete the training
  • Line Cook Apprentices are expected to complete the program in 1 year if working full time
  • Management Apprentices are expected to complete the program in 2 years if working full time
  • Part-time options are available

Training Support

  • Pre-apprentices and apprentices receive multiple levels of incentives for completing steps in the process
  • Educators receive support for credentials and classroom training supplies
  • Through June 30, 2024

Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeships

The Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship is the industry’s first-ever earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program and is approved by the U.S. DOL. This program aims to create career opportunities for the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality workforce.

Additional Information / Get Started

For more information on how apprenticeships can benefit you, as an employer or apprentice, please contact PRLA Workforce Development Specialist Andrea Trubiano at or (717) 963-8375.

The Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeship (RYRA) is 100% funded through a $4,999,478.00 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (AP-35087-20-60-A-11). The information on this webpage was created by PRLAEF and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership.

AHLA Foundation Apprenticeship Program

Transform Your Workforce Through Registered Apprenticeship!

Registered apprenticeship is a training program that combines on-the-job learning with classroom education for in-demand occupations. For employers, it provides an opportunity to develop highly skilled workers and significantly strengthen labor retention by using a proven method to develop both current employees and prospective employees. For employees, it is an opportunity to advance their careers, receive hands-on learning, and earn both college credit and industry certification at no charge via scholarship funding from the AHLA Foundation. Programs offered include Hotel Cook Apprentice, Lodging Manager Apprentice, and Maintenance Apprentice.

Did You Know?

  • 90% of apprentices remain employed after completing their program
  • For every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 return in increased productivity.

For More Information about AHLA Apprenticeships, Contact:

Carrie Alexander
Director of Workforce Development
American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation

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