State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) has announced his support of a proposal to expand the barbershop apprenticeship program to include hairdressers and cosmeticians The bill recently passed the Labor Committee. \u201cI support any effort to expand apprenticeships for our citizens,\u201d Rutigliano said. \u201cThis proposal assists in opening an additional career pathway and gives people a better chance to succeed. Apprenticeships within salons would offer a great educational experience, cost less and provide more flexibility for people trying to support and educate themselves.\u201d The bill, SB-548, An Act Concerning Hairdressers and Cosmeticians creates an apprenticeship path to obtaining a registered hairdresser and cosmetician license. Under the bill, a person can apply for a license if he or she has completed eighth grade, completed a Labor Department-approved apprenticeship, and passed the Department of Public Health written exam. This is an alternative to the current method of completing ninth grade, completing a 1,500-hour hairdressing and cosmetology course of study at a school that is state-approved or under state supervision or an out-of-state school with requirements equivalent to a Connecticut school, and passing the DPH exam. The Labor Department must approve the apprenticeship, which must be conducted in accordance with the state's apprenticeship law. In 2015, legislation was passed to establish a barber apprenticeship program where people completing the program could obtain a barber's license. According to current state law, an approved apprenticeship program must require: Each apprentice to work at and learn a specific trade under a written agreement with an employer or an employer-employee joint apprenticeship committee. The agreement to provide for at least 2,000 hours of work in approved trade training consistent with the industry or joint labor-industry standards, plus supplemental hours of related instruction. Participating employers and apprentices to annually register with the state Department of Labor. The bill now heads to the State Senate for a full floor debate.