August 12, 2022


Anything but ordinary

Labor Department apprenticeship rule exempts construction programs

Dive Quick: 

  • A Division of Labor rule issued yesterday that will aid expand apprenticeships in the U.S. leaves out courses that seek out to prepare apprentices to perform development get the job done. All those groups as a substitute can go on to participate in a independent Registered Apprenticeship System.
  • The rule establishes a procedure for advancing the growth of Market-Regarded Apprenticeship Applications (IRAPs), a centerpiece of President Donald Trump’s workplace policy agenda. It will consider impact Could eleven.
  • The thought of exempting the development market from IRAPs has drawn hearth from key contractor groups like the Affiliated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Affiliated Builders and Contractors (ABC). On the other hand, setting up trade unions like North America’s Setting up Trades Unions (NABTU) have praised the approach. 

Dive Perception:

IRAPS are acknowledged by a third-occasion entity below criteria founded by the department in the new rule. As a result of these courses, folks will be ready to attain workplace-suitable education and progressively advancing abilities that outcome in an market-acknowledged credential while obtaining compensated for their get the job done. 

An IRAP is created or operated by entities these types of as trade and market groups, firms, nonprofit organizations, instructional institutions, unions and joint labor-management organizations. They are observed as a way to aid reduce the labor lack in new market sectors and occupations that will not customarily have apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships are greatly acknowledged to be a hugely productive position-education technique for American workers and for employers in search of the experienced workforce needed in today’s altering workplace,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a assertion. “This new rule provides employers, group faculties, and other folks a flexible, modern way to swiftly expand apprenticeship in telecommunications, wellness care, cybersecurity, and other sectors the place apprenticeships presently are not greatly out there.”

The situation has elevated problem on each sides, with the DOL getting a complete of 326,798 community comments about the ruling, the the vast majority of which expressed opposition to the use of IRAPs in development. 

In the close, the department concluded that registered apprenticeship courses are much more prevalent in the development sector than in other sectors and as a result will not need to be provided in the approach. The conclusion could spur at the very least a single authorized problem in accordance to Bloomberg Law, and involves a clause to limit a prospective lawsuit from the development market.

Greg Sizemore, vice president of wellness, security, setting and workforce growth for the Affiliated Builders and Contractors, which experienced lobbied versus the exemption, said all workers should really be provided the possibility to participate in the new market courses.​

Conversely, NABTU President Sean McGarvey said the union is delighted with the result and that the industry’s existing apprenticeship courses will not be “watered down” by getting to participate in IRAPs.

“Given the prevalent and productive nature of our privately financed and jointly managed registered courses for the development market, the closing rule acknowledges our rightful spot as the conventional bearer in the workforce growth space,” he said.​​