By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to make it easier for companies, trade associations and unions to develop federally recognized apprenticeship programs. Such apprenticeships are paid positions that combine on-the-job training with classroom education and earn the participant a credential. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversees the national apprenticeship program in conjunction with the states. It establishes federal and state standards for private programs sponsored by individual employers, industry associations, educational institutions and others.
The DOL will attempt to reduce red tape and overly rigid requirements for administering apprenticeship programs. The federal program’s funding will also nearly double to $200 million. The United States has an estimated 6 million job vacancies, many of which remain unfilled because of a skilled labor shortage. Traditionally, apprenticeships have been largely confined to the construction industry and building trades, although this order is designed to unlock the private sector’s expansion of these programs in other fields.
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