DOL pushes forward with apprenticeship initiative
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is moving forward with the Trump administration’s plans for a nationwide apprenticeship program. DOL announced members of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, who represent the education, business and industry, and labor sectors.
- But in the wake of upheaval following Trump's comments on the violent rally in Charlottesville, VA, a number of executives lined up for the apprenticeship committee ended up not participating in it at all, including Mark Benioff of Salesforce and Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, according to Politico.
- President Trump issued an executive order in June to funnel money to apprenticeships as well as cut back the government's role in monitoring them. In announcing the committee members, DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta stated the administration's belief that apprenticeships will help close the skills gap and give American workers relevant skills for sustainable jobs.
Apprenticeships could be one resolution to the skills gap and impending job loss from automation, which employment experts say will foster the need for an upskilled workforce. That is, at least, the belief of the Trump administration, which views apprenticeship programming as one of the main goals of Acosta's DOL.
Suzi LeVine, a former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, recommends that American businesses replicate the "Swiss-style" model of apprenticeship programs. She said businesses should collaborate on apprenticeship initiatives or else they’ll lose out to the few that do.
Overall, a call for a better-skilled workforce has lead to businesses across industries, including tech companies, to involve themselves in community upskilling programs, be that coding camps, K-12 programs or more broad training programs. In the current talent paradigm, those that innovate in employee development are most likely to lead in their industries in a few years.