President Joe Biden signed an executive order this week revoking former President Donald Trump’s order providing federal funds to apprenticeship programs created by industries, calling for more government-controlled alternatives.
In 2017, Trump signed Executive Order 13801, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs). The policy allowed “trade and industry groups, companies, non-profit organizations, unions, and joint labor-management organizations” to create their own apprenticeship programs that would help workers obtain the skills that the economy needed but that universities are not providing, or are providing at a cost that is unaffordable for many Americans.
“Registered Apprenticeships,” approved by the government, have been part of U.S. labor policy for decades. Under the Obama administration, these received more funding. But critics argued that the government-controlled model, run by the Department of Labor and with the involvement of labor unions, held back the growth of apprenticeships. The Trump order allowed industries (and unions) to develop their own