US Department of Labor to refocus on proven Registered Apprenticeship model, rescind industry-recognized apprenticeship program
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule to rescind the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, and will direct the department’s resources toward Registered Apprenticeships to expand access to good-paying jobs and create reliable pathways to the middle class.
The department issued this final rule after reviewing the IRAP as required by Executive Order 14016 in which President Biden directed federal agencies to “promptly consider taking steps to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, or policies” implemented by Executive Order 13801.
After reviewing the previous rule, the department determined EO 13801 had created a duplicative, lower-quality system that was not in the best interest of workers and industries. By contrast, the Registered Apprenticeship system has an established 85-year record of promoting apprentices’ welfare and ensuring program quality in an expanding number of diverse occupations and industries. The RA system offers higher quality training and worker protection standards, including progressively increasing wages and equal employment opportunity requirements.
By taking this regulatory action, the department reaffirms its commitment to the Registered Apprenticeship system and its value in helping U.S. workers, particularly those from underserved communities, to access good-paying, family sustaining jobs.
As part of its final rule, the department will work with previously recognized SREs and IRAPs to explore opportunities to become program sponsors or intermediaries in the RA system and will provide IRAP apprentices with resources to connect them with Registered Apprenticeship training opportunities.
The final rule aligns with the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to promote job-quality and to modernize, expand, diversify and strengthen the proven, earn-as-you-learn Registered Apprenticeship model; invest in pipelines to these programs, and improve the quality of apprenticeship programs.
Now available for public inspection, the Federal Register is scheduled to publish the final rule on Sept. 26, 2022.