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Department Issues NPRM to Update Regulations Implementing the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937; Invites Comments by February 11, 2008

The Department of Labor has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. The Department invites interested persons to submit comments on this proposed rule. To ensure consideration, comments must be in writing and must be received on or before February 11, 2008.

On February 18, 1977, the Department promulgated 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 29 to establish, for certain Federal purposes, labor standards, policies and procedures for the registration, cancellation and deregistration of apprenticeship programs, and apprenticeship agreements. Part 29 also provided for the recognition of a State Apprenticeship Agency as an agency authorized to register local apprenticeship programs for Federal purposes, and for the revocation of such recognition.

In the succeeding 30 years, the American economy and workforce have changed significantly. The proposed rule addresses those changes by both making the procedures for apprenticeship program registration more flexible and by strengthening oversight of program performance. The proposed rule also updates part 29 to incorporate gender neutral terms and technological advances in the delivery of related technical instruction. Such revisions will enable the Department to promote apprenticeship opportunity in the 21st century while continuing to safeguard the welfare of apprentices.

The December 13 FEDERAL REGISTER contains the NPRM, outlines the process for the submission of comments, and provides the relevant contact information.

Pages 71021 to 71028 contain a “Summary and Discussion of the Regulatory Provisions.” Pages 71028 to 71030 contain the “Administrative Requirements for Proposed Rulemaking.” The updated Part 29 - Labor Standards for the Registration of Apprenticeship Programs - begins on page 71030.

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