JFF’s Deborah Kobes, interim vice president of the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning, was quoted extensively in an Open Campus article that examined the legacy of the federal government’s Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP), which the Biden administration discontinued effective November 25, 2022.
Established by executive order in 2017 as an alternative to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship program, the IRAP initiative was designed to enable employers to set up high-quality apprenticeships more quickly than they could under the Registered Apprenticeship framework, which requires programs to meet a number of quality standards.
Some lawmakers and policymakers were concerned that IRAP apprenticeships failed to meet important requirements, such as mandatory wage increases for workers, that are included in the Registered Apprenticeship program. But stakeholders also agree that the Registered Apprenticeship model isn’t as effective as it could be.
Kobes said building an effective apprenticeship system takes hard work.
“Designing and building a quality program that has the value that will really pay off for the worker and the employer over time — that’s a lift. And we should be supporting the effort it takes to do that, rather than just saying that’s hard and let’s not require it,” she was quoted as saying in the article, “What’s the Future of Apprenticeships?” which was published in Open Campus’s “The Job” newsletter.