DOL Proposes Rule to Create Private-Sector Apprenticeship Programs

On June 25, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed rule to create an apprenticeship program run by private-sector partners recognized by the agency. The agency would designate “standards recognition entities” or SREs from the private sector. These bodies would approve individual “industry-recognized apprenticeship programs” or IRAPs.  SREs would focus on specific industries or occupational areas, and they would be recognized by DOL to ensure that its requirements are met. The agency would not, at least initially, accept applications from SREs seeking to recognize apprenticeship programs in the U.S. military or in the construction industry.  Industry apprentice programs (or IRAPs) may be developed by trade and industry groups, large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, unions and joint labor-management organizations. Small businesses seeking to create an industry apprenticeship program would apply with the SRE and pay a $3,000 fee.  DOL is seeking feedback on this new program, and the economic impact of this rule on the small business community.

Comments on this rule are due on August 26, 2019.   

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