On March 10, the U.S. Department of Labor granted the construction industry a permanent exemption from Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, otherwise known as IRAPs.
The exemption was a huge win for the union construction industry and their signatory contractors, who combine to invest more than $1 billion in private sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America. This ongoing commitment has been in place for roughly 80 years and has consistently produced the safest, most highly trained and most highly skilled construction workforce.
IRAPs differ from registered apprenticeships because they are not regulated by the government and give employers – or an affiliated partner – the ability to train new construction workers without any regulations or governmental oversight.
In its final ruling, the DOL acknowledged the quality, availability and longevity of the building trades registered apprenticeship programs as the main reasons for granting the permanent exemption. Continue reading →