Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program FAQ Employers
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FAQ for Employers: Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program

Q: What is the Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program?
A: The Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program is a seven-week program for individuals looking to gain the skills needed for entry-level positions in the marine and composites industries. The program is coordinated by RIMTA, along with area employers and educational providers.

Q: What do students learn? How many hours of training do they receive?
A: Students get hands-on training in a wide range of areas—from safety training to skill areas such as carpentry, composites, boat building, marine systems, welding, composites, painting and varnishing, forklift operation, rigging and other areas. This instruction gives them an introduction to the skills required to work in the marine trades, and employers continue the training once graduates are hired. Students are also trained in job readiness and customer service. Along with the hands-on training, students do a six-day job shadow, which is a short-term internship with a local employer in an area students are interested in pursuing. Students attend the program full-time, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm.

Q: When is the program held?
A: Twice a year, with one session ending in the spring and one in the summer. The 2016 Summer Session begins in July.

Q: Who attends the program?
A: The program is open to Rhode Island residents who are over age 18.

Q: How are students selected?
A: Applicants first fill out an online application, and all potential candidates are interviewed. Space is limited, so those who make it to the next stage do a reading and math assessment, as well as a hands-on assessment to gauge their facility with basic tools and safety. The process is multi-step to ensure a good fit—both so students can learn if this is what they want to do, and program organizers can select the best candidates who will become valuable employees in the marine trades.

Q: Do students have a boating background?
A: Boating experience is not required, so program organizers look for candidates who have the interest and aptitude to work in the marine industry. Program organizers welcome candidates who are looking to transfer skills from other trades to the marine industry.

Q: Who teaches the program?
A: Students study at different venues throughout the state—both at marine companies and at educational providers—so they get solid exposure to the industry. Employees at the different companies or instructors at educational providers do much of the training. On most days instruction is hands-on so students get to experience the work environment in the marine trades. Some of the instruction is done in a classroom, such as the OSHA training or job readiness skills.

Q: How long is the internship?
A: The internship, or job shadow, is six days. This gives students and companies a good opportunity to get to know each other. Employers have an opportunity to see a student’s level of skill and his or her work ethic. Many times employers offer a student a full-time job at the end of the job shadow.

Q: If I want to use the program as a way to connect with entry-level employees, how do I do that?
A: Employers can become involved with the program in several different ways. They can offer to host a training session, which gives an employer a chance to see all candidates in the program in action. Companies can also offer a job-shadow experience to a student, to learn if he or she would be a good candidate for a full-time job. There is also a luncheon at graduation time, where employers can meet the candidates. Employers can also help steer the program and RIMTA’s other training initiatives by joining the Education & Training Committee.

Q: What job-placement services does the program offer?
A: RIMTA staff who are with the students throughout the program help to match students and companies. They get to know each party to make the right fit.

Q: Who funds the program?
A: The program is funded by the Governor’s Workforce Board RI. Employers who hire the program’s graduates and meet a defined criterion are eligible for funding to subsidize the student’s wages for a defined period of time.

Q: How can I find out more?
A: Contact Program Director Jen Huber at or 401-396-9619.