Law & Order

Federal Government Creates Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs


By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule to encourage companies, trade associations, colleges, unions and other entities to establish industry-recognized apprenticeship programs (IRAP). The apprenticeships will be paid positions that provide trainees with on-the-job training and classroom education. The initiative is intended to expand the pool of available workers given the fact that the U.S. currently has many more job openings than skilled workers. IRAPs will use industry-driven approaches in providing pathways for workers to gain skills and start careers.

In 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order directing the DOL to institute such a program. The DOL program seeks to reduce red tape and overly rigid requirements for administering apprenticeship programs. It is intended to encourage a market-based approach while operating within DOL standards for training, structure, and curricula. Federal funds may be available to supplement the program but have not yet been appropriated by Congress.  

View the IRAP fact sheet

The DOL will be presenting a webinar on Thursday, March 26, from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. (EDT) to discuss key elements of the program and provide information on next steps if interested in pursuing IRAPs.

Register now.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at