Acosta wants to 'streamline' occupational licensing regulations
- On a trip to Denver during which he promoted the Trump administration's apprenticeship program, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta told the audience at the American Legislative Executive Council’s annual meeting that occupational licensing represents over-regulation, Politico reports.
- Acosta told the lawmakers that “the growth of occupational licensing is part of a nationwide trend where we regulate, and regulate, and regulate.” He added that 1 in 20 jobs required a license in 1950, compared with 1 in 4 today.
- Acosta also said he believes that occupational licensing created barriers for low-income workers or those who wish to relocate, according to Politico.
Occupational licensing often serves as proof that someone has completed training or passed an exam. License renewal requirements can ensure that practitioners are up to date on changes in their profession. Some, however, argue that they pose a barrier to employment.
Acosta certainly seems to want to shift away from those requirements, and instead make use of apprenticeships. The Trump administration has said that it believes apprenticeships can close the skills gap, bring more people into the workforce and train workers for specific occupations and grant them proper licensing, when appropriate.
Republicans object to what they call over-regulation, so it's no surprise that license streamlining and a focus on job-creating apprenticeships (which they also seek to deregulate) would be priorities in a Republican administration. GOP lawmakers are fighting to rescind OSHA tracking, the overtime rule, fiduciary rule and other regulations.
In the meantime, however, employers should remember that many of these requirements are still in effect, and business must continue to comply with them.