3301 - Civil Service Traditional and Non-Traditional Apprenticeship Programs



Audience List

  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Officers
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Personnel Officers
  • Upward Mobility Coordinators


This policy describes and defines CalHR’s exclusive authority, in regard to state agencies, departments, boards and commissions (state organizations), to establish and maintain oversight of civil service traditional and non-traditional apprenticeship programs (apprenticeship programs) for current and prospective state employees. Apprenticeship programs can complement strategies for career development, succession management, and upward mobility. These programs can further diversity, equity, and inclusion for state organizations statewide by broadening applicant pools.


The Director of CalHR retains exclusive authority to establish and maintain oversight of apprenticeship programs, including the establishment and operation of apprenticeship programs where deemed appropriate within civil service; establishment of caps on the number of and types of classifications and the number of individuals approved to participate under apprenticeship programs; and cancellation or revocation of approved apprenticeship programs when such action is deemed in the best interest of the State. The Director of CalHR has a critical oversight role to ensure that state organizations comply with direction to follow merit system principles and use apprenticeship programs as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, the normal competitive hiring process.

  • Traditional apprenticeship programs. CalHR approved civil service traditional apprenticeship programs shall be:
    • In related state civil service apprentice classifications, established and adopted by the State Personnel Board.  The classification of positions and the selection process shall be governed and administered in accord with State Personnel Board rules and regulations; and
    • In accord and conform as applicable in all respects with the rules and regulations for apprenticeship of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, Department of Industrial Relations.
  • Non-traditional apprenticeship programs. CalHR approved civil service non-traditional apprenticeship programs shall be in accord and conform in all respects with laws and rules designed for incumbent worker trainings.  As such, program participants shall remain in their existing civil service classification while participating in structured educational and developmental opportunities designed to assist the participant with acquiring the minimum qualifications of the target position for which the program is assigned. Similarly, completion of the program does not confer any right to appointment nor any change to a civil service classification upon completion of the program.


Establishing Apprenticeship Programs

CalHR supports the establishment of apprenticeship programs for current and prospective state employees based on statewide and state organizational needs. Successful apprenticeship programs support goals of upward mobility, diversity, equity, inclusion, recruitment and retention, and workforce planning and succession management, among others.  Apprenticeship programs support the development of knowledge, skills and abilities through both theoretical and practical experience to position participating state employees for advancement opportunities. Apprenticeship programs can support workforce equity and mitigate other state organizational challenges.

State organizations are encouraged to evaluate recruitment and retention challenges annually, and to consider for submission to CalHR classifications that may benefit from apprenticeship programs.  State organizations are encouraged to consider information to support business need, details regarding any previous efforts to address it, and any available data in support.  CalHR will evaluate submissions and work with state organizations and bargaining representatives as appropriate to establish apprenticeship programs when it is determined that apprenticeship programs may be an effective strategy toward resolving recruitment, retention and/or upward mobility challenges.

Monitoring and Oversight

CalHR has responsibility to monitor and provide oversight for apprenticeship programs for state employees to ensure that the programs meet identified goals and are consistent with state policies, collective bargaining agreements, and other requirements.

Program Measures and Improvement

In collaboration with state organizations and labor partners, CalHR is committed to the establishment and maintenance of effective apprenticeship programs for state employees.  CalHR will set applicable key performance indicators and gather data from state organizations to gauge success of apprenticeship programs and determine opportunities for improvement.


State organizations are expected to understand the important role of apprenticeships to develop a trained workforce, use resources and processes to achieve the goals of apprenticeship programs, ensure apprenticeship programs provide a gateway to career development in state service, and contribute to a well-qualified and diverse workforce.


CalHR expects state organizations to review and evaluate current apprenticeship programs as a potential strategy to satisfy Annual Workforce Analysis, State Leadership Accountability Act, Upward Mobility, or workforce planning and succession management challenges.  State organizations interested in participating in established apprenticeship programs should contact the Workforce Development Division (WDD) at CalHR.

Participating state organizations shall support program oversight and ensure that all managers and supervisors are aware of the programs’ requirements and carry out their responsibilities related to the program and the participants.  Departments shall also monitor and assess apprenticeship programs, and report results to the Workforce Development Division at CalHR, as required.

Human Resources Offices within state organizations will ensure human resources staff, management, and supervisors understand the requirements, intent and operations of the apprenticeship programs and provide accurate and appropriate guidance and assistance to leaders and employees.



Web Pages

Authorized By

Sarah Gessler
Chief, Workforce Development Division, Workforce Development Division

Contact Person

Sarah Gessler
Chief, Workforce Development Division
Phone: 916-324-9391
Email: sarah.gessler@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan