This is a problem in Rhode Island, too:
A new report authored by my colleagues from the Foundation for Government Accountability and myself points to one reason for the lack of apprenticeships: Restrictive occupational licensing laws stand in the way.
To follow through on their promises to expand apprenticeships, policymakers should take [recent legislation in Connecticut allowing apprenticeship to substitute for cosmetology school] and bring similar reforms to professions in states across the country. Doing so would promote job competency and hands-on training through apprenticeships, rather than arbitrary time requirements through licensing.
Licensing requirements are very often nothing more than a mix of protectionism and nanny-state meddling. As Jared Meyer notes in the above link, reforming these policies doesn’t require government subsidies, just a willingness to let people find ways appropriate to their circumstances to learn careers.