If last week was Infrastructure Week, this week is Workforce Development Week, the White House says.
President Trump is pushing apprenticeship programs between high schools and colleges, and the private sector to boost skills and fill vacant jobs.
“We want a future where every high school in America offers apprenticeship,” Trump said on Tuesday at a vocational school in Wisconsin.
Apprenticeships in which workers get paid while gaining skills are one of the surest ways to boost employability. Nearly nine in 10 apprentices land jobs with an average salary of $50,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Such programs also tend to increase productivity, lower recruitment costs and boost employee loyalty.
President Obama gave apprenticeships a boost during his Presidency, signing the first-ever annual funding for apprenticeships in 2016. In the last two years, the U.S added 130,000 apprenticeships, bringing the U.S. total to 505,000. Trump, who hosted “The Apprentice,” reportedly won’t boost federal funding for apprenticeships, but is expected to issue a directive on Wednesday that gives more certification responsibility to businesses.
Apprenticeships are more common in Europe. The U.K. wants to add three million apprenticeships by 2020.