Apprenticeship; On-the-Job Training (OJT)

Question: Anybody knows any statutory requirements for hiring OJTrainees?

This is posted for discussion purposes. This is not a complete listing of all applicable provisions and any additions are most welcome (for tips on how to do online legal research, go here). Let’s start with Book II, Title II, Chapter I (Apprentices) of the Labor Code:

Art. 57. Statement of objectives. This Title aims:

1. To help meet the demand of the economy for trained manpower;

2. To establish a national apprenticeship program through the participation of employers, workers and government and non-government agencies; and

3. To establish apprenticeship standards for the protection of apprentices.

Art. 58. Definition of Terms. As used in this Title:

1. “Apprenticeship” means practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instruction.

2. An “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.

3. An “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.

4. “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.

Art. 59. Qualifications of apprentice. To qualify as an apprentice, a person shall:

1. Be at least fourteen (14) years of age [N.B. the Implementing Rules says 15 years old, which is supported by R.A. 7610, as amended by R.A. 7658);

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

3. Possess the ability to comprehend and follow oral and written instructions.

Trade and industry associations may recommend to the Secretary of Labor appropriate educational requirements for different occupations.

Art. 60. Employment of apprentices. Only employers in the highly technical industries may employ apprentices and only in apprenticeable occupations approved by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. (As amended by Section 1, Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986)

Art. 61. Contents of apprenticeship agreements. Apprenticeship agreements, including the wage rates of apprentices, shall conform to the rules issued by the Secretary 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 percent of the applicable minimum wage, may be entered into only in accordance with apprenticeship programs duly approved by the Secretary of Labor and Employment. The Department shall develop standard model programs of apprenticeship. (As amended by Section 1, Executive Order No. 111, December 24, 1986)

Art. 62. 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, 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.

Art. 63. 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.

Art. 64. 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.

Art. 65. 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.

Art. 66. 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.

Art. 67. 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.

Art. 68. 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.

Art. 69. 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.

Art. 70. 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.

Art. 71
. 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.

Art. 72. 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.

20 thoughts on “Apprenticeship; On-the-Job Training (OJT)

  1. cindy.cayanan

    I’ve checked TESDA’s list of apprenticeable occupations. It’s very
    limited. For one thing, computer programming is not in the list. Does it
    mean that it’s not covered by the Labor Code on Apprentices? Does it mean
    that we can’t hire programmers as OJT?


    1. ARE

      Hello just to answer the query of some for public service. Do not be mislead by the terms “apprentice” and “OJT(students)”. These are two different terms and the law treats them differently. For OJT students, you are neither entitled to 75% of statutory minimum wage nor the minimum wage itself. As provided by art. 72 above, these students belong to “apprentices without compensation”. Another reason is that in a nutshell, the apprentices entitled to compensation are workers not just because they need to comply with some academic requirements.

      For the other queries regarding their trainees, not just because you called them trainees, they are to be considered as apprentices. Accordingly, they can be only called as such if they are to be engaged in apprenticeable occupations or highly technical jobs as determined by TESDA. Stated differently, you have to be accredited as that which offers these kinds of job for you to hire apprentices. Finally, you cannot just apply the 75% wage on your trainees if they are not apprentices on the first place.

  2. Atty. Fred

    Cindy, it appears that answering your follow-up questions, as it now relates to your company, would constitute rendering legal opinion. We are prohibited from doing so, which is the reason why I could not make specific discussions. Please see the “Terms of Use” above. I’m sorry and I hope you understand.

    Considering that your company’s planned set-up requires the preparation of various documents pursuant to certain laws and regulations, I strongly suggest you discuss it with your company’s lawyer. Thanks

  3. agentclicker

    Hi! Does the Department of Labor require the employer to apply for a permit or license to hire (i don’t know if it’s the right term) an apprentice/trainee? Thank you.

  4. Gel


    I am an HR practitioner in a spa industry. In the company that I’m working for we have apprentices since the company are the one who trained them. My questions are: Can we considered our employees as Apprentice even if we are not accredited by TESDA? Is the 75% required salary applicable to them?

  5. Gandhi

    Good evening every one. I just want to ask for advice.

    First, let me explain my situation with my ojt. December 4 2013, I start my on the job training in a particular company and finish my 180 hours after 23 working days. However, because the end of my ojt fall on Wednesday, I still report to the company because my employer said I can’t end my training in the middle of the week so I decide to duty the next day. In the next day, my employer offer a 75 pesos allowance to continue my duty until I can present my transcript of record because they want to absorb me in the company. Because I want to acquire some experience and don’t have my evaluation and certificate yet, I decide to take the offer and continue my duty. After a few days, I decide to ask my evaluation and certificate because I need to submit it to the school. However, my employer refuse to release it and his reason are as follows:

    1. I haven’t yet turnover the programs that I made.
    2. He have nothing in his hand that will force me to report to the company…

    He said he will release my papers by the time I turnover the codes together with a document on how do I made the programs explaining every code that I used, every library that I used etc… Just to let you know, the computer that I was using during my training is property of the company and all the codes are in there… I don’t have the codes in my hand right now and I don’t even have a copy of it.

  6. evangeline

    re: apprenticeship of maritime students

    is a philippine registered fishing boat allowed to accept student apprentice? in case it is allowed, what are the requirements and to what office or agency will the school coordinate?

    your reply will be most appreciated. thank you

  7. Les

    Good day po ., ask q lng po qng magoojt aq as curriculum ng school babayaran po ba aq ng company na pagojthan q? Feedback po

  8. Reymark G

    Magandang araw po may tanong po ako is it possible po ba na pag nag ojt sa goverment office mag karoon po ba kami ng 75% of allowance…. Poh… Actually we are a COMPUTER HARDWARE SERVICING student po…… Under TESDA….
    we are working under ICTD DEPARTMENT…. SA CITY HALL PO…
    Is it right for us to complained……?
    Sir/Maam? Thank you…..

  9. Lili


    Is an OJT student who is required by the school to undergo 300 hours as partial fulfillment of graduation covered by the DOLE Law to get paid 75% of minimum wage? Is this also covered by TESDA Law? Student OJT is taking 2 year diploma in Computer Science and is doing office work like accounting encoding and filing documents.

    Thank you po

  10. Shari

    I have an ongoing ojt right now.. and my bosses are treating me and my co-apprentices in an unfairly manner..

    We were emotionally and physiologically abused..

    Could we ask them to release our certificate even if we still have 2 weeks left?

    1. Liz

      My son has the same problem as yours.. gusto ko ng umalis ang anak ko sa campany na pinag ojt-han nya… if fair ang treatment ng company , kahit mahirap work ng anak ko ok lang sana but my son told me that the employees are bullies , inaabuso nila ang mga nag ojt, lahat ng work pinapagawa walang fix na trabaho.. all around sya.. i think its too much.. i rather pay para sa ojt ng anak ko kaysa mag suffer sa mga bullies..

  11. len

    re: apprenticeship of maritime students

    i need help. i am a apprentice maritime student currently working as a deck cadet in a shipping company. I encountered several accidents on board during my work but the good thing is nothing wrong happen to me. We stop operating about a week. now that we are back to work, the flashbacks of that incidents starting to reminisce and i thing it is a trauma. I told my agency about the thing that is happening to me and i decided to stop working as an apprentice but they told me that it is not possible to stop because i have a contract that i signed. can u help me what are the legal advice that you can give to me regarding this matter.. thank you so much and godbless


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