Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Biden administration has abandoned another Trump era rule, eliminating former President Trump’s executive order which created so-called IRAPs, industry recognized apprenticeship programs. Under this concept, the government’s traditional role in supervising and approving apprenticeship programs, particularly in the trades, would be replaced by training programs in the private sector controlled and supervised by individual companies. While the IRAP approach was announced in 2017, final rulemaking was not completed until March 2020 and the first program was not approved until Raytheon was selected as a pilot participant in October 2020.

Trump’s idea had been roundly criticized by Democrats and pro-union interests as watering down government’s ability to monitor the efficacy of the training, as well as suppressing wages, and undermining training. President Biden’s executive order seeks to reinstitute the previous approach by asking the Department of Labor (“DOL”) to engage in rulemaking with input from relevant parties. The goal would be to revive the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships to assist in oversight of Apprenticeship programs.

President Biden also supports the National Apprenticeship Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this month and would spend billions in the DOL’s registered apprenticeship system. That bill would expand registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. Supporters of the bill say it will create nearly 1 million new job training opportunities and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits.


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