1) News Release -- 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.
2) FRN: Apprenticeship Programs, Labor Standards for Registration
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) is issuing this final rule to rescind its 2020 regulation that established a process under which the Department's Office of Apprenticeship (OA) Administrator (Administrator) was authorized to grant recognition to qualified third-party entities, known as Standards Recognition Entities (SREs), which in turn were authorized to evaluate and extend recognition to Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). This final rule also makes necessary conforming changes to the regulations governing the registration of apprenticeship programs by the Department. This final rule is effective November 25, 2022.