WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance the National Apprenticeship System by modernizing regulations for Registered Apprenticeships.The proposed rule would include the following enhancements: Strengthening of labor standards, quality and worker protections by making occupational skills and training more portable, enhancing alignment with postsecondary education and providing better performance data. Better defining roles for State Apprenticeship Agencies and other stakeholders within the National Apprenticeship System.Codifies the Office of Apprenticeship’s role for national leadership, promotion and standards. Promoting apprenticeship pathways, including pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship readiness programs, by expanding performance and data requirements to improve accountability, transparency and program outcomes. Creating a student-centric model of Registered Apprenticeship, called Registered Career and Technical Education Apprenticeship designed to make them more seamless for full-time high school and community college students to enroll in a Registered Apprenticeship. This approach is modeled after high-quality youth apprenticeship systems in states across the country.“Equity and job quality have marked the most successful Registered Apprenticeship programs for workers and employers alike. This proposed rule codifies the Department of Labor’s strong commitment to these principles,” explained Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “Importantly, the proposed changes will also provide strong worker protections, improved employer experiences and greater clarity about the roles of federal and state governments and their partners in the National Apprenticeship System.”The proposal also affirms Registered Apprenticeship as the proven, gold-standard earn-and-learn model for increasing earnings and getting workers into good-paying jobs in many industries; promotes enhanced accountability and transparency; and places added focus on data and outcomes. In addition, the proposed changes reinforce the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, and extend worker protections for apprentices across the industry sectors now benefiting from Registered Apprenticeships. Upon publication in the Federal Register, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be open for public comment for 60 days. The department encourages comments from all interested stakeholders and will consider all comments received before publishing a final rule. Learn more about the proposed rule and instructions for submitting comments. To review the proposed changes, their benefits and how to submit public comments on the proposal, the department’s Employment and Training Administration is sponsoring a webinar on Jan. 11, 2024 from 2 to 3 p.m. EST. Register to attend the webinar.
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