January 17, 2022

Bill aimed at easing employer liability for high school apprentices advances to Senate

Article origination Indiana Public Media
A maintenance high school apprentice with Indianapolis Public Schools works on a heating unit. - Justin Hicks/IPB News

A maintenance high school apprentice with Indianapolis Public Schools works on a heating unit.

Justin Hicks/IPB News

An Indiana bill that would have the state arrange for a staffing agency to employ high school apprentices passed the House and is on the way to the Senate. It's being proposed as a solution to employer hesitancy around youth apprenticeships. 

Workforce leaders say employers have hesitated to offer apprenticeships to high schoolers because of concerns over liability and raised rates on worker’s compensation policies.

House Bill 1094 would tell the Indiana Department of Education to find a third-party staffing agency by the end of 2022 to cover those students instead.


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It’s modeled after Kentucky’s agreement with a staffing agency. Mary Taylor with the Kentucky Department of Education says doing it that way has made it much easier for employers to hire student apprentices.

“They say it’s a quick, cheap, easy way to onboard them,” she said. “They take care of the payrolling and it doesn’t fluctuate their worker’s comp rates.”

In committee, some lawmakers noted a staffing agency may take a small percentage of what would be paid to students as a result. However, it would not incur additional costs to the state.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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