Apprentices

Apprentices are workers covered by an apprenticeship agreement involving an apprenticeable occupation which requires more than three (3) months of practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instruction.

1. Concepts

“Apprenticeship” – means practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instruction. (Article 58[a], P.D. 442, Labor Code)

“Apprentice” – is a worker who is covered by a written apprenticeship agreement with an individual employer or any of the entities recognized under this Chapter. (Article 58[b], Ibid.)

“Apprenticeable occupation” – means any trade, form of employment or occupation which requires more than three (3) months of practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instruction. (Article 58[c], Ibid.)

“Apprenticeship agreement” is an employment contract wherein the employer binds himself to train the apprentice and the apprentice in turn accepts the terms of training. (Article 58[d], Ibid.)

2. Qualifications of Apprentices

To qualify as an apprentice, a person shall:

1) Be at least fourteen (14) years of age;

2) Possess vocational aptitude and capacity for appropriate tests; and

3) Possess the ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions. (Article 59, Ibid.)

a. Employment of Apprentices

Only employers in the highly technical industries may employ apprentices and only in apprenticeable occupations approved by the Minister of Labor and Employment. (Article 60, Ibid.)

3. Contents of Apprenticeship Agreements

Apprenticeship agreements, including wage rates of apprentices, shall conform to the rules issued by the Minister of Labor and Employment. The period of apprenticeship shall not exceed six months. Apprenticeship agreements providing for wage rates below the legal minimum wage, which in no case shall start below 75 per cent of the applicable minimum wage, may be entered into only in accordance with apprenticeship programs duly approved by the Minister of Labor and Employment. The Ministry shall develop standard model programs of apprenticeship. (Article 61, Ibid.)

a. Signing of Apprenticeship Agreement

Every apprenticeship agreement shall be signed by the employer or his agent, or by an authorized

representative of any of the recognized organizations, associations or groups and by the apprentice.

An apprenticeship agreement with a minor shall be signed in his behalf by his parent or guardian or, if the latter is not available, by an authorized representative of the Department of Labor, and the same shall be binding during its lifetime.

Every apprenticeship agreement entered into under this Title shall be ratified by the appropriate apprenticeship committees, if any, and a copy thereof shall be furnished both the employer and the apprentice. (Article 62, Ibid.)

4. Venue of Apprenticeship Programs

Any firm, employer, group or association, industry organization or civic group wishing to organize an apprenticeship program may choose from any of the following apprenticeship

schemes as the training venue for apprentice:

1) Apprenticeship conducted entirely by and within the sponsoring firm, establishment or entity;

2) Apprenticeship entirely within a Department of Labor and Employment training center or other public training institution; or

3) Initial training in trade fundamentals in a training center or other institution with subsequent actual work participation within the sponsoring firm or entity during the final stage of training. (Article 63, Ibid.)

5. Sponsoring of Apprenticeship Program

Any of the apprenticeship schemes recognized herein may be undertaken or sponsored by a single employer or firm or by a group or association thereof or by a civic organization. Actual training of apprentices may be undertaken:

1) In the premises of the sponsoring employer in the case of individual apprenticeship programs;

2) In the premises of one or several designated firms in the case of programs sponsored by a group or association of employers or by a civic organization; or

3) In a Department of Labor and Employment training center or other public training institution. (Article 64, Ibid.)

6. Investigation of Violation of Apprenticeship Agreement

Upon complaint of any interested person or upon its own initiative, the appropriate agency of the Department of Labor and Employment or its authorized representative shall investigate any violation of an apprenticeship agreement pursuant to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. (Article 65, Ibid.)

a. Appeal to the Secretary of Labor and Employment

The decision of the authorized agency of the Department of Labor and Employment may be appealed by any aggrieved person to the Secretary of Labor and Employment within five (5) days from receipt of the decision. The decision of the Secretary of Labor and Employment shall be final and executory. (Article 66, Ibid.)

b. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

No person shall institute any action for the enforcement of any apprenticeship agreement or damages for breach of any such agreement, unless he has exhausted all available administrative

remedies. (Article 67, Ibid.)

7. Aptitude Testing of Applicants

Consonant with the minimum qualifications of apprentice-applicants required under this Chapter, employers or entities with duly recognized apprenticeship programs shall have primary

responsibility for providing appropriate aptitude tests in the selection of apprentices.

If they do not have adequate facilities for the purpose, the Department of Labor and Employment shall perform the service free of charge. (Article 68, Ibid.)

8. Responsibility for Theoretical Instruction

Supplementary theoretical instruction to apprentices in cases where the program is undertaken in the plant may be done by the employer. If the latter is not prepared to assume the responsibility, the same may be delegated to an appropriate government agency. (Article 69, Ibid.)

9. Voluntary Organization of Apprenticeship Programs; Exemptions

1) The organization of apprenticeship program shall be primarily a voluntary undertaking by employers;

2) When national security or particular requirements of economic development so demand, the President of the Philippines may require compulsory training of apprentices in certain trades, occupations, jobs or employment levels where shortage of trained manpower is deemed critical as determined by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. Appropriate rules in this connection shall be promulgated by the Secretary of Labor and Employment as the need arises; and

3) Where services of foreign technicians are utilized by private companies in apprenticeable trades, said companies are required to set up appropriate apprenticeship programs. (Article 70, Ibid.)

10. Deductibility of Training Costs

An additional deduction from taxable income of one-half (1/2) of the value of labor training expenses incurred for developing the productivity and efficiency of apprentices shall be granted to the person or enterprise organizing an apprenticeship program: Provided, That such program is duly recognized by the Department of Labor and Employment: Provided, further, That such deduction shall not exceed ten (10%) percent of direct labor wage: and Provided, finally, That the person or enterprise who wishes to avail himself or itself of this incentive should pay his apprentices the minimum wage. (Article 71, Ibid.)

11. Apprentices Without Compensation

The Secretary of Labor and Employment may authorize the hiring of apprentices without compensation whose training on the job is required by the school or training program curriculum or as requisite for graduation or board examination. (Article 72, Ibid.)

References

Book II, Presidential Decree No. 442, a.k.a. Labor Code of the Philippines

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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