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July 2017

Looking forward with apprenticeship expansion

apprenticeships

innovation, empowerment

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In June, President Trump signed an executive order that seeks to expand apprenticeships, by opening the door to alternative education providers and giving industry groups a more active role with the federal apprenticeship program. At the event President Trump said, “Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,” Trump also stated, “Instead, apprentices earn while they learn.” The administration plans to allocate up to 200 million dollars to this program, which would double the 90 million in the federal budget this year. The White House wants to focus on apprenticeships in growth industries such as healthcare, IT, and manufacturing. These industries historically have not focused on apprenticeships and in the past there have been restrictions against certain industries in having them. The executive order calls for the creation of a federal task force, to promote apprenticeships as well as bring industry into the quality-control and oversight side of federally recognized apprenticeships, which have a required educational component and typically last more than two years. “We will be removing federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs,” Trump said at the June event. “So we're empowering these companies, these unions, industry groups, federal agencies to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens.” About 505,000 people work in federally registered apprenticeships now, just 0.3 percent of the workforce. Many employers say the registration is slow and complicated making it inefficient, also they receive little or no federal subsidies for their apprenticeship programs. The new executive order encourages federal agencies to help nongovernmental and non-college organizations create apprenticeship programs that could be fast-tracked for federal registration status. The goal is to create a larger apprenticeship workforce with citizens learning and working in junction.

 

All of this is good news for innovation, manufacturing, and the economy. We look forward to the new skillsets that will be coming into the marketplace. And this supports the increased levels of innovation.

 

 

Wes Bush, the chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation and chair of the Business Roundtable’s Education and Workforce Committee

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