Washington, D.C. – February 18, 2021 – Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey issued the following statement regarding the actions taken by President Biden to eliminate the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) and strengthen Registered Apprenticeship:
“We applaud the decisions by the Biden-Harris Administration to both eliminate Industry Recognized Apprenticeships (IRAPs) and bring back the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship, which provides much needed industry-based input on policy, quality assurance standards, and equitable enforcement.
“The untested, second-rate IRAP program was set to undermine the gold-standard Registered Apprenticeship model that has increased safety, skill and productivity in the construction industry for over 80 years. The construction industry’s integrity relies on the well-structured and regulated format of Registered Apprenticeships to help recruit and retain workers through progressive wage increases, appropriate apprentice-to-journey worker ratios, quality assurance assessments, and instructor eligibility prerequisites. The critical protections of the Registered Apprenticeship model ensure the highest level of training, and the safety and security of the most skilled, competent and competitive workforce necessary to build the next generation of high quality infrastructure in communities across America.
“Finally, with the President’s emphasis on and commitment to large infrastructure investments, strengthening Registered Apprenticeship will also greatly expand ladders of opportunities for citizens in communities where these infrastructure investments will be made, especially communities of color, women, immigrants, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated. These executive decisions are the right ones to help strengthen America’s working class today and tomorrow, and we’ll continue working with the Administration and Congress on workforce development programs that truly increase middle-class career opportunities for all.”