New DOL Rule Would Create Nongovernment-Run Apprenticeships

 

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek June 24, 2019
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​A proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion on Monday calls for a process to establish industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAPs).

IRAPs are customizable apprenticeship models that the DOL called "a new pathway for the expansion of apprenticeships" that create "major milestones in the continuing effort to expand apprenticeships in the United States."

The rule outlines the process to become a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE). SREs would set standards for training, structure and curriculum for IRAPs.

As proposed, industry, employer groups or associations, educational institutions, state and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, unions, or a consortium or a partnership of these entities could become an SRE.

In a relationship similar to the one between the U.S. Department of Education and higher-education accrediting bodies, the DOL would ensure that SREs have the capacity and quality-assurance processes and procedures needed to monitor IRAPs and recognize if they are of high quality.  

SREs would monitor IRAPs to ensure they meet DOL criteria such as providing:

  • Paid work.
  • Work-based learning.
  • Mentorship.
  • Education and instruction.
  • Industry-recognized credentials.
  • Safety and supervision.
  • Adherence to equal employment opportunity obligations. 

The new rule would not change the requirements for the federal Registered Apprenticeship Programs, according to the DOL. RAPs are validated by the DOL or a state apprenticeship agency.

The task force is the result of an executive order President Donald Trump signed in June 2017 charging the Secretary of Labor to consider establishing guidelines that qualified entities should follow to make sure apprenticeship programs that the government recognizes meet quality standards.

The DOL has struggled in recent months to finalize the plan, Politico reported, noting that two years after signing the executive order not a single apprenticeship program has been created under the program, nor a single person trained.

A 60-day public comment period begins with the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.  Comments on the content of the proposed rule may be submitted by following directions found in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).  

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Using Government and Other Resources for Employment and Training Programs]

SHRM Online has collected stories from its archives and other trusted news sources on this topic: 

Trump Administration Proposes New Type of Apprenticeship 

The DOL released its proposal Monday to create a new type of apprenticeship that would be run by business groups, colleges and other entities, rather than the federal government.
(The Wall Street Journal)  

DOL Supports Industry-Certified Apprenticeship Programs

Employers are closer to being able to participate in industry-led, government-sanctioned apprenticeship programs separate from the federal and state registered apprenticeship system that many find cumbersome.

6 Differences Between an Internship and Apprenticeship 

From the competitive nature of an apprenticeship to the pay rate, here's a look at six ways apprenticeships differ from internships.
(Glassdoor)  

Companies Turn to Apprenticeships to Fill White-Collar Jobs 

It may be spring break for many college students, but Alexis Martin already is settling in at her new job in the claims department of The Hartford, where she earns a starting salary of about $44,000 and has no student debt.

She graduated March 28 from the insurer's two-year Claims Apprentice Program and was one of eight students in the company's inaugural initiative. She now handles auto insurance-related damage claims in the Windsor, Conn., office. Martin and her fellow graduates are among an increasing number of students who have entered white-collar apprenticeships. 
(SHRM Online)   

Investing in Apprenticeships Pays Off for Employers
Apprenticeships are increasingly being recognized by employers and policymakers as an effective way to increase employability and build pipelines of talent.
Representatives from insurance company Zurich North America and engineering firm Rolls-Royce spoke about their apprenticeship programs June 24 at the Society for Human Resource Management 2019 Annual Conference & Exposition.
(SHRM Online)

Expanding the Apprenticeship Model to HR 

The first federally registered HR apprentice in the country works at the Paper Mill Playhouse, a nonprofit regional theater in Millburn, N.J. Her name is Crystal Zamora, and she may be on the leading edge of a wave of apprenticeships for HR professionals and other white-collar workers.
(SHRM Online) 


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