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Agency launches program portal for Industry-Recognized Apprenticeships

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP) Standards Recognition Entities (SRE) online application is live. Excepting those in construction trades, the program enables organizations to pursue SRE certification, then develop and administer training for paid apprenticeships in manufacturing and other sectors.

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The Labor Department provides Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program and Standards-Recognizing Entity qualifications and registration details at www.apprenticeship.gov.

“As workers seek to reenter the workforce following the economic disruption caused by coronavirus, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs and the SREs that recognize them will provide new opportunities for Americans to earn a living while learning the skills needed in a changing job market,” says Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia. “I encourage industry leaders, educators, and others to consider forming SREs to help drive the expansion of apprenticeships and assist in the economic rebound. In these challenging times, the new apprenticeship opportunities created by IRAPs can open doors to good-paying jobs.”

IRAPs are high-quality apprenticeship programs recognized by the third-party SRE. Per a final rule effective last month, the Labor Department may recognize various types of organizations as SRE, including trade groups, companies, educational institutions, state and local governments, non-profits, unions, joint labor-management organizations, plus certification and accreditation organizations.

“Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs provide an additional apprenticeship pathway that is industry-led and market-driven,” notes Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training John Pallasch. “Individuals will be able to obtain valuable workplace-relevant training and learn progressively advancing skills, resulting in an industry-recognized credential, all while getting paid for their work. Now that we are accepting applications to serve as Standards Recognition Entities, we encourage eligible workforce stakeholders, through applying and forming an SRE, to play a large role in the way industries and regions train future workers.”

The department plans to host virtual forums to share how industry and workforce stakeholders are taking advantage of the new opportunity. Entities interested in evaluating and recognizing IRAPs, consistent with the department’s standards, should follow the process outlined in the Final Rule to become SREs and submit an application online. After an evaluation, the Department’s Office of Apprenticeship will notify the applicant. Once recognized by the Department, SREs will work with employers and other entities to establish, recognize and monitor IRAP that provide apprentices with industry-recognized credentials. www.apprenticeship.gov