We have good news regarding the Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program issue in front of the Department of Labor: The construction industry has been carved out of this new program!
The entire UBC family (members, contractors, staff, instructors, etc) came together over the last several months to argue for a construction carve-out from this new program. The UBC position is, while we are happy to share our expertise with other industries, and while we recognize that other industries may want to develop apprenticeship programs that differ in form and rigor from our programs, the construction industry has effective apprenticeship programs already in place - funded by the private sector - which are doing a great job in meeting the needs of the industry.
General President McCarron took the position while serving on President Trump's Task Force on Apprenticeship, which created recommendations to create IRAPs. It is in no small part due to President McCarron's leadership and willingness to engage directly with the Trump administration that we have prevailed in this argument.
Why this matters…Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) that included the construction industry would've created a less stringent oversight of Registered Apprenticeship Programs. It would’ve eroded the success that our programs currently achieve, and it would've driven our already high standards down to a state of mediocrity.
Not in the clear yet…While we’re happy with this news, expect a lawsuit to be filed by the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) against the Department of Labor over the construction carve-out.