Trump Signs Order to Ease Federal Restrictions on Apprenticeships

Trump Signs Order to Ease Federal Restrictions on Apprenticeships

"Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees", Trump said at the White House event. In Congress, I have long championed the expansion of apprenticeships, taking the lead on much-needed reforms to create more options for employers and workers.

Agencies will also be directed to conduct an intensive review of existing job training programs, if they work or if they don't and suggestions about how to make them work better.

The official said new Labor Department grants could be used to grow apprenticeship programs in community colleges and high schools and expand them to industries beyond the trades, such as agriculture and engineering.

Likewise, U.S. Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia, who is the top Democrat on the House education committee, said in a written statement that the order fails to "maintain necessary quality controls and accountability requirements".

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Trump had planned to sign the executive order on apprenticeships during a trip to the Labor Department on Wednesday, but that visit was canceled following the shooting at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. Senior administration officials have said Trump was reluctant to spend more federal funds on apprenticeships, so the boost would come from existing money, perhaps from the streamlining process. The White House noted that there are now six million job vacancies in the United States, the highest number in almost 40 years, but workers don't necessarily have the skills to fill them. Instead, they could be overseen by third parties like companies, unions, and industry groups. "The restaurant industry fully supports the President's Executive Order and thanks the President and Secretary Acosta for their continued focus on apprenticeships - a proven recognized path to full and rewarding careers".

Bravo. As the Labor Department notes, "nine in 10 Americans who complete apprentice training land a job, and their average starting salary is $60,000 a year". The Obama administration committed to growing a skilled workforce by investing $265 million in apprenticeship programs with the goals of expanding apprenticeships into new industries and integrating programs into state education and workforce systems, among others.

"Apprenticeships provide paid, relevant workplace experiences and opportunities to develop skills that employers value", it says.

Roughly 505,000 people work in federally registered apprenticeships.

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The apprenticeship concept enjoys widespread bipartisan support, including from the Obama administration, as a workforce training lever. "Technical program grads also see a "$300,000 lifetime increase in earnings" and don't owe student loans, according to the administration.

However, the federal program also includes a range of standards created to ensure the quality of the work and learning experience, in addition to protecting apprentices.

"We're very pleased that the administration is recognizing the role of our colleges and the importance of education paired with work-force opportunities for people", he said.

"Use available funding to promote apprenticeships, focusing in particular on expanding access to and participation in apprenticeships among students at accredited secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, including community colleges; expanding the number of apprenticeships in sectors that do not now have sufficient apprenticeship opportunities; and expanding youth participation in apprenticeships".

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It also calls for promoting apprenticeships to prison inmates and ex-cons.