WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 10, 2020
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule today that will establish Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs), which are apprenticeships led by job creators, colleges, and other entities instead of the federal government. Republican Leader of the Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), issued the following statement in support of DOL’s rule, which will expand apprenticeship opportunities:
“Apprenticeships offer students and job seekers a pathway to be successful without taking on the debt that comes with attending college for four or more years. It is no surprise that in recent years we’ve seen interest in apprenticeships surge.
“Employers are on the frontlines of our rapidly evolving economy and they know best what skills their employees need to excel in the workplace. Instead of being held back by regulatory burdens, today’s rule will provide businesses with the flexibility to meet the varying needs of their industries and workers.
“By cutting through bureaucratic red tape IRAPs will help put businesses and employees at the center of the conversation. I applaud DOL’s efforts to expand apprenticeship opportunities. Doing so will increase earn-and-learn opportunities, help close our nation’s skills gap, and set Americans up with the skills needed to achieve lifelong success.”
Background: There are more than seven million unfilled jobs in this country, yet job creators struggle to hire employees with the right skills for the job. In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order creating a Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion which included stakeholders in business, labor, and educational institutions. The final report of the Task Force found that establishing industry-recognized apprenticeships would help meet the demand for apprenticeships to develop a more skilled workforce. Education and Labor Committee Republicans have long supported the expansion of apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.