Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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New Administration to Take Steps to Bolster Registered Apprenticeships

Feb 25, 2021

Registered Apprenticeships-1177200769 600x400Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) implemented under President Trump were repealed by President Joe Biden’s last week. A February 17 executive order called for a halt to the launch of the IRAP, which was intended to move much of the supervision of workforce initiatives to industry groups.

The Biden administration cited a concern that the IRAP program would create a redundant apprenticeship program, “with duplicate and often inferior systems that compete with the highly successful and longstanding Registered Apprenticeship Program,” according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The executive order also reinstated the National Advisory Committee on Apprenticeships to address the “clear need to engage with leaders and practitioners from industry, labor, education, workforce and community organizations” as well as modernize, streamline and diversify the registered apprenticeship model, DOL said in the announcement.

The advisory committee will focus on developing recommendations on how the Registered Apprenticeship Program can meet the current and future needs of the U.S. workforce.

According to the committee on Education and Labor, Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) are America’s most successful federally authorized workforce development program, with Department of Labor statistics showing that 94 percent of people who complete RAs become employed upon completion, earning an average starting salary of more than $70,000 annually. Other benefits include a paid job, on-the-job learning, classroom learning, mentorship and credentialing.

Read the Fact Sheet on the steps the Biden Administrations is taking to bolster Registered Apprenticeships.