Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta is giving the green light to President Donald Trump’s goal of cutting the amount of red tape associated with federally registered apprenticeship regulations. More authority and autonomy is to be granted to industry-specific trade associations, labor unions, individual business owners and other pertinent organizations when assembling and administering apprenticeship programs.
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“The U.S. Department of Labor will work expeditiously to execute the president’s vision and begin to implement measures to expand the apprenticeship and vocational training programs that can help our economy thrive, while keeping good, high-paying jobs in America,” said Acosta after Trump issued an executive order calling for a reduced regulatory burden regarding the nation’s officially sanctioned workforce development initiatives.
Said Trump in his June 2017 executive order:
“America’s education systems and workforce development programs are in need of reform. In today’s rapidly changing economy, it is more important than ever to prepare workers to fill both existing and newly created jobs and to prepare workers for the jobs of the future. Higher education, however, is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Furthermore, many colleges and universities fail to help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high paying jobs in today’s workforce. Far too many individuals today find themselves with crushing student debt and no direct connection to jobs.
“Against this background, federally funded education and workforce development programs are not effectively serving American workers. Despite the billions of taxpayer dollars invested in these programs each year, many Americans are struggling to find full-time work. These Federal programs must do a better job matching unemployed American workers with open jobs, including the 350,000 manufacturing jobs currently available.”
Acosta and his staff prepared a series of questions and answers about the Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Registration Program, edited by Aftermarket Business Worldfor clarity and context:
Q: What is the official definition of an apprenticeship?
A: Apprenticeship is an arrangement that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component, wherein an individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and skills.
Q: What is a “registered” apprenticeship?
A: Registered apprenticeships are high-quality work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and- learn models that meet national standards for registration with the U.S. Department of Labor – or federally recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies.