The Department of Labor issued a final rule on March 10 for the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) to increase the number of apprenticeships in the nation. Under the program, apprentices will be able to build advanced skills and receive workplace-related training for an industry-recognized credential. In addition, apprentices will receive payment under the program for their efforts. According to Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia, “This new rule offers employers, community colleges, and others a flexible, innovative way to quickly expand apprenticeship in telecommunications, health care, cybersecurity, and other sectors where apprenticeships currently are not widely available.”
Third-party entities, like industry groups and unions, can implement IRAP in their systems by following the guidelines in the final rule.
MEMA has supported the administration’s efforts to expand apprenticeships and will work with members to ensure that this program is helpful to suppliers.