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DOL rescinds IRAPs, refocusing on long-standing Registered Apprenticeship model for success

October 06, 2022
By: Ellen Marrison

Citing an 85-year record of promoting higher quality training and worker protection standards, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has rescinded the short-lived Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) in favor of the established Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program. DOL found the IRAP program, instituted in 2017 , to be “a duplicative, lower-quality system that was not in the best interest of workers and industries.”

DOL issued the final rule after President Biden directed federal agencies to review former President Trump’s Executive Order 13801 that established IRAPs. Biden had revoked the order in February 2021, and directed a review of the order and that any entities that had been established under the order be abolished, as appropriate and consistent with the law.

The DOL stated in its release concerning the change that it would work with the third-party entities (known as Standard Recognition Entities or SREs) that had been authorized to evaluate and extend recognition to IRAPs  that “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.” There were 25 active SREs listed on the Apprenticeship USA website in early October 2022, and 131 IRAPs had been created, mostly for nursing credentials.

The release also noted the “RA system offers higher quality training and worker protection standards, including progressively increasing wages and equal employment opportunity requirements.”

dol, apprenticeship