Department of Labor Issues Training and Employment Notice to Expand Apprenticeship Model

As the Trump Administration works to equip Americans with necessary skills for family-sustaining jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced the next step in the effort to expand the apprenticeship model to new industries and to industry sectors with few apprenticeships. This action creates the framework for the creation of industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.

With the number of open jobs in the U.S. exceeding the number of job seekers, the President’s Administration is mobilizing to expand work-based learning for Americans. Expanding the apprenticeship model through industry-recognized programs, while retaining the existing Registered Apprenticeship program, will help Americans develop the skills they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow while meeting the needs for skilled labor.

Last week, the President launched the Pledge to America’s Workers as part of the National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, initiatives providing opportunities for education and workforce development that will help more Americans thrive in modern and future workplaces. Companies, trade associations, and labor have pledged to deliver opportunities for skills development to nearly four million American workers, a number that continues to grow.

A Training and Employment Notice (TEN) issued by the Department is a step in carrying out the President’s Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America. This TEN provides information that certifiers will be expected to have in place to establish standards, establish certification intervals determined by industries, evaluate and certify programs focused on outcomes and process, report results, and maintain records. Organizations will be able to seek a determination from the Department that their apprenticeship certification practices meet these criteria and ensure that certified programs provide apprentices with a pathway to a family-sustaining career.

This TEN is an initial training and employment notice pending rulemaking. Having received the recommendations from the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, the Department will proceed with rulemaking in accordance with the President’s Executive Order 13801, which directed the Department to consider proposing regulations on industry-recognized apprenticeships.

Industry-recognized apprenticeship programs must include both a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component and be certified as high-quality by a certifier that has received a favorable determination from the Department. An industry-recognized apprenticeship program may include trade and industry groups, companies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, unions, and joint labor-management organizations.

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