Trump proclaims executive order to assist apprenticeships

Angie Massey
June 23, 2017

Officials said the work would be done with a strategic use of available funds from the ApprenticeshipUSA program, which was funded at $90 million this year, and for which Trump has requested the same amount next year.

Secretary Acosta said earlier this week business leaders have been eager to work with the administration on workforce development and indicated apprentices are in demand across the labor market.

A new executive order from the Trump administration-issued Thursday and meant to scale back regulations and increase grant amounts for apprenticeship programs-could lead to an expanded restaurant workforce.

President Donald Trump says apprenticeships could match workers with the nation's estimated 6 million open jobs but they are reluctant to spend any taxpayer money on the effort. Under Mr. Trump's order, private industry would have more flexibility but still have to register.

Apprenticeships were a priority for the Obama Administration and in 2015, Obama awarded $175 million in apprenticeship grants - the first-ever programmatic funding for registered apprenticeships in the U.S.

UPDATED Trump's desire to pare back regulations that stand in the way of creating new apprenticeships anxious some lawmakers.

Trump had campaigned on creating jobs.

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"It's called earn while you learn", he said of his initiative, at Waukesha County Technical College.

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.

"Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees".

America's education systems and workforce development programs are in need of reform.

The National Skills Coalition said it appreciates that the executive order includes a public comment period on new regulations from the Labor Department that relate to the apprenticeship push. Through this project, we will identify at least 450 apprentices in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry, and put them on a defined pathway to management-level positions through on-the-job paid training and standardized instruction. Former Democratic president Barack Obama, who set a goal to expand apprenticeship programs in 2014, called them "opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs, even if they don't have a higher education".

The Trump Administrations budget slashes support for federal job training by 40 percent for disadvantaged adults, dislocated workers, and at-risk youth, ends the Senior Community Service and Employment Program for 67,000 low-income older Americans, and closes Job Corps Centers across the country.

Apprenticeships are few and far between. Given that these programs will be also be known as Registered Apprenticeships, it will be hard for employers to know whether a former apprentice has received training that meets the applicable federal standards, or whether the apprentice participated in a lower-quality program that did not meet the same standards. Of the 146 million jobs in the United States, about 0.35 percent - or slightly more than a half-million - were filled by active apprentices in 2016. Companies would have more power to design their own apprenticeships without strict government standards. That's part of a broader effort to show Trump remains focused on his policy agenda despite cascading headlines about investigations into his campaign's ties to Russian Federation and the possibilities of acts of obstruction of justice. "In Germany you have a situation where you can get tax accounting apprenticeships" says Robert Lerman, a fellow at the Washington, DC-based think tank the Urban Institute, and the founder of the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship.

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