Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Local | By Ada Griffith

Trump signs executive order on apprenticeships

Trump signs executive order on apprenticeships

Amazon (AMZN), which now offers a "career-choice" training program, expects its level of participants to double by the year 2020, according to Dave Clarke, the company's SVP of Worldwide Operations.

While the president's travels might not have merited much attention in the nation's capital, there was at least one sign that he was breaking through in a state that he narrowly won over Democrat Hillary Clinton previous year with the help of blue-collar workers: The local affiliate broke away from NBC's live coverage of the testy Sessions hearing to showcase Trump's arrival here. Standing at his elbow as he signed were North Carolina Republican Virginia Foxx, the chairwoman of the House education committee, and Bobby Scott of Virginia, its ranking Democrat.

The president has sold training programs as an affordable and secure alternative to a traditional four year degree. For that, Trump has latched onto a slogan that has been floating around the sector: "earn while you learn".

Trump's top aides have made it clear that he envisions a far wider reach for apprenticeships than now exists.

The president said that he and Walker were engaged in talks with a company about bringing jobs back to the United States. The executive order would leave it to the industry to design apprenticeships using broad standards that will be set by the Labor Department.

Replicating the German apprenticeship model in the USA would require nothing short of a revolution. Other days you would be in the restaurant, receiving on-the-job training from a current restaurant manager, allowing you to hone your skills well before graduation day.

Instead of starting with Labor Department regulations, the apprenticeships would be largely designed by industries looking to fill specific jobs. Cantwell said, "This bill kicks American apprenticeship into high gear by establishing the first ever national incentive for apprentice programs".

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However, the most recent budget for the government passed with about 90 million dollars (£70.8m) for apprenticeships, and Mr Trump is not proposing to add more so far. Labor will provide oversight on the program. There's a key difference between the Trump and Obama approaches, however: Obama wanted the government to fund training programs and help organize them.

The order also "requires all Federal agencies to review and evaluate the effectiveness of their job training programs, and consider how to best consolidate certain programs for increased accountability". Critics may say that apprenticeships aren't an effective way to close the skills gap - but in restaurants, we know they work, because we're already doing it. "Technical program grads also see a "$300,000 lifetime increase in earnings" and don't owe student loans, according to the administration. At the end of the program, the apprentice receives a certification.

Trump's speech comes after his administration launched their "infrastructure week", where the White House focused on policies to eliminate overbearing regulations and launch infrastructure reform projects. Rather, it's about choice: offering multiple pathways to education and good jobs.

Governor Walker stood with President Trump on Thursday, praising his apprenticeship plan.

Trump said he will remove federal restrictions that have prevented industries from creating apprenticeship programmes.

"We want a future where every high school in America offers apprenticeship" options, Trump told participants in a vocational program at a community college in Wisconsin on Tuesday. "These students deserve education and training that will give them the resources and tools to succeed, and these bogus organizations will not do that".

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta speaks during a Cabinet meeting with President Donald Trump, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington.

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