Labor Department ends duplicative apprenticeship program that aimed to weaken union apprenticeships

The Labor Department announced a final rule on Sept. 23 that ended the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program, adding it will direct its resources toward Registered Apprenticeships. (Union apprenticeships are registered apprenticeship programs.)

The Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP), which was started under the Trump administration, intended to move much of the supervision of workforce initiatives to industry groups.

In its announcement, the Labor Department stated IRAP “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.”