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Youth Skills Training/Youth Apprenticeship


Youth Skills Training (YST) and Youth Apprenticeship (YA) are two work-based learning opportunities for Minnesota secondary students 16 years of age and older.  These experiences:

  • Focus on career preparation and training within a specific career pathway;
  • Are always paid experiences.

We're so glad you're interested in learning more about the value of Youth Skills Training and Youth Apprenticeship! We created this website to help you navigate the process of starting a YST or YA partnership in your community.  This YST/YA Toolkit offers

The models

There are two work-based training/student-learner models in the State of Minnesota. Each program offers advantages and disadvantages. Schools and employers often start with a YST program and work their way into a YA program after a year or two. You may want to investigate each option to determine which option is best for you.

 Program comparison   YST     YA  
 Focus on career prep within career pathway X X
 Local industry partnerships formed with school and employer X X
 Are paid student experiences for students 16 and over X X
 450 hours required/yr per student X
 CTE-certified instructor required X
 Work-based learning teacher license required X
 Provides industry credential for students X X
 Cost is about the same     X X
 Insurance required X X
 Minimal application process X


full color illustration of high school girl

“Since I became a senior everyone is like, ‘Where are you going to college?’ It’s the first question they ask, automatically. And if my answer, or anyone’s answer for that matter, doesn’t match the preconceived vision of what they think our futures should look like, they are taken aback—like that is the only way to continue.”

–Allison,  high school student

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