President Joe Biden has just signed an executive order revoking a Donald Trump order in which the former president provided federal funds to industry-created apprenticeship programs, pushing for more government-controlled alternatives.
Back in 2017, Trump ratified Executive Order 13801, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).
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This order allowed “trade and industry groups, businesses, non-profit organizations, trade unions, and joint labor management organizations” to create their own apprenticeship programs that would be used to help employees develop the skills required by the economy, but that universities either do not provide or provide at a cost that is inexpensive for many Americans.
Some liberals were not supporters of Trump’s order, with the Center for American Progress complaining that Trump was establishing “a parallel path that lacks adequate protections for workers” that could encourage “low-quality programs to proliferate.”
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Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the ranking member on the House Committee on Education and Labor, issued a blistering statement condemning it after Biden signed his order.
The decision by President Biden to end IRAPs is going to destroy jobs. Word. It is not a solution, it is irresponsible, to double down on an inefficient, 80-year-old system that is unresponsive to the needs of staff, she said. 131 IRAPs have been produced in the last four months, the vast majority of which are for nursing qualifications. Why would a group pretending to follow science restrict nursing qualifications.
“We should support and encourage efforts to cut the regulatory red tape that stops too many employers from filling in-demand jobs, instead of catering to union bosses and increasing Washington’s overreach into the private sector,” Foxx added. “Over 80% of all apprenticeship programs nationally are employer-led apprenticeship programs.
In order to train “diverse, local, well-trained workers who have a choice to join a union,” Biden defended his order, with the White House saying that “expanding registered apprenticeship programs.” It added that the industry-run apprenticeships “have fewer quality standards than registered apprenticeship programs.”