Scott Statement on Labor Department’s Final IRAP Rule

March 10, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor issued a final rule on Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).

“Registered Apprenticeship programs have a proven record of providing workers in-demand skills and a pathway to the middle class. According to the Department of Labor, there is now a 94 percent placement rate for workers who complete a Registered Apprenticeship, with an average starting salary of $70,000 a year.

“The Department of Labor is walking away from this clear record of success and wasting taxpayer money by setting up an entirely untested and unproven system.  

“Specifically, the Department’s new IRAP model would discard the key features responsible for the success of the existing registered apprenticeship system. For example, the IRAP system established under this rule strips the Department of its critical role in certifying that apprenticeship programs are meeting quality standards and upholding worker protections. 

“Additionally, the Department cannot guarantee that IRAPs are standardized and portable throughout the country. A worker that completes a program Newport News, Virginia, likely will not be able use that credential in Newport Beach, California. 

“This rule will expose apprentices to low-quality programs, squandering valuable taxpayer money and undermining the integrity of the existing registered apprenticeship system.

“I am particularly troubled that the Department’s pursuit of IRAP’s has interfered in our bipartisan effort to reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act, which would create one million new high-quality registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship opportunities across the country.

“Every dollar the Department wastes on IRAPs is one less dollar that could have been invested in expanding registered apprenticeship programs.”

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