US President Donald Trump today signed an executive order to expand apprenticeships and vocational training to help all Americans find jobs.
"We are excited about working with the administration to help create more job and career opportunities in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry through apprenticeship", said Rob Gifford, the NRAEF's executive vice president, in a statement.
The executive order gives businesses, trade unions and other third-party entities more flexibility to develop "high-quality" technical education programs eligible for expedited review by the Department of Labor. 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.
"We're empowering these companies, these unions ... to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens ..."
These programs enjoy a fair amount of bipartisan support, and have gotten a lot of buzz in recent months: In a March roundtable discussion, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioffcalled on Trump to create 5 million apprenticeships in the next five years.
The White House says apprenticeships could match workers with millions of open jobs.
While the executive order is being touted as a strategy to fight unemployment, it follows a proposed budget that axes funding to the Labor Department by 21%, drastically reduces the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and slashes grants aimed at getting unemployed Americans back to work. Most expenses from apprenticeships are incurred by the employers. His proposed budget May 23 would cut some established federal job training programs significantly.
Trump highlighted Charles Nobel from Wisconsin who, like many other apprentices present, benefited from an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship programs are registered with the DOL, and registration signifies to both workers and employers that the program meets certain standards.
Wisconsin was a key part of Trump's 2016 election triumph, as he became the first Republican to carry the state in a presidential election since 1984. 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.
Apprenticeship includes paid classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and provides participants with licenses in order to practice certain professions.
He said they were joined by governors from around the country who had just spoken about apprenticeship programs.
Trump will issue a directive Wednesday meant to boost apprenticeships by expanding industry-certified programs, according to people familiar with the matter. "In little companies, you have Mildred who does HR and does all the payroll, and your'e asking her to do all the paperwork for a registered apprenticeship program".
Against this background, federally funded education and workforce development programs are not effectively serving American workers.
If the scale of a US apprenticeship program is to come anywhere close to Germany's, apprentices will have to become easier for businesses to manage - and public-education systems must be more responsive to the job requirements of local industries.
Trump has frequently boasted about his ratings on "Celebrity Apprentice", and in February mocked his replacement as host for not measuring up during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. 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.
Wisconsin DPI Superintendent Tony Evers has called on Congress to reject Trump's proposal, saying it would hurt Wisconsin students.
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