Trump to Order Expansion of Industry-Based Apprenticeships

From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...

By Ben Penn

President Donald Trump will issue an executive order June 14 intended to boost apprenticeships by expanding industry-certified programs, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg BNA.

The executive order, which will be formally announced by the president at the Labor Department headquarters, is designed to streamline the apprenticeship training model to give more certification responsibility to businesses, rather than merely rely on the DOL registration process, the sources said June 13.

Industry groups have criticized the federal- and state-administered registration process for creating barriers to employer buy-in. But some job training stakeholders caution that the registration process can be essential for ensuring quality, as evidenced by job retention and income gains.

The administration’s intent is to make the apprenticeship concept more attractive to employers by giving them control of the standards that are best suited to their workforce. It’s unclear whether funding will be made available immediately through the order, but federal resources will be attached to it at some point, said a former DOL official who’s been discussing apprenticeships with the Trump administration. The official and the other sources spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The DOL for over 75 years has worked with state agency affiliates to register programs that meet quality training standards and lead to certificates of completion. While models vary, apprenticeships generally combine technical instruction with on-the-job learning, typically lasting four years.

A White House spokesman declined to comment ahead of the announcement tomorrow.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and White House officials told reporters June 9 that there would be administrative action this week on apprenticeships, but they declined to provide specifics.

“The restaurant industry has been in the apprenticeship space for a little while now; it is a space that we are excited about growing into in the future, and we are very interested to hear what will be announced tomorrow, and how that will combine with our efforts,” Rob Gifford, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s education foundation, told Bloomberg BNA.

“We would welcome a streamlining of the current apprenticeship processes and rules,” added Gifford, who wasn’t speaking based on knowledge of the announcement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Penn in Washington at bpenn@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Labor & Employment on Bloomberg Law