The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) finally puts bold clean energy goals within reach — and is quickly changing the training landscape by tying substantial tax credits and other incentives to new registered apprenticeship requirements. Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) will be a key tool for developing, scaling and sustaining a diverse pipeline of trained talent ready to power the rapid transition to a clean energy future.
IREC, recently named an Apprenticeship Ambassador by the U.S. Department of Labor, is working closely with industry and workforce intermediary partners to support clean energy employers navigating the apprenticeship landscape. The group recently launched a toolkit to provide employers and other stakeholders with the background information and supplemental resources needed to train the clean energy workforce through RAPs.
A RAP is an employer-driven, customizable training model that has been validated to meet standards defined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or a State Apprenticeship Agency. By providing comprehensive training in an occupation, and a clearly defined, high-quality career pathway, RAPs are widely recognized as one of the best ways to develop and retain a skilled workforce in a given industry.
While many employers choose to administer their own program in-house, companies may also participate in apprenticeships sponsored by joint labor-management programs (i.e., union programs), trade associations, educational institutions or community-based organizations.
RAPs for solar industry-specific occupations are currently limited, as the DOL does not recognize the occupation of Solar Installer — or any solar-specific occupation — as “apprenticeable.” Fortunately, several existing approved occupations can be leveraged to meet an employer’s needs.
IREC’s new toolkit offers in-depth background information and supplementary resources to support clean energy employers navigating the apprenticeship landscape. Read the toolkit to learn more about key components of a registered apprenticeship program, benefits to employers and workers, meeting federal and state apprenticeship requirements, and a step by step guide to getting started.
News item from IREC