In a move that could have exceedingly positive ramifications for the industrial sector in particular, President Trump recently signed an executive order to double government spending on apprenticeship programs in the United States.
The initiative has sent a wave of optimism throughout the country as people begin to hope that the increased number of apprenticeships will translate to a more solid workforce in the future.
The Effect on Employers
Employers will have a major hand in these developments, as Trump plans to include them in a task force for the project. Apprenticeship programs tend to do best when the employers create them (as opposed to a third party who doesn’t understand the employer’s goals or processes), so that’s exactly how Trump is setting this up – resulting in significantly less red tape and strict entrance requirements than there might have been otherwise. Employers are expected to have a positive response to this prospect, which will cause them to embrace the new apprenticeship programs with open arms.
A Solution for the Skills Gap?
It’s no secret that America is on the brink of a skills gap like we’ve never seen before, with millions of manufacturing professionals set to retire in the next few years and no one rising up to fill their places. The lack of emphasis that’s been placed on trades is about to come back to bite us – but Trump’s apprenticeship program could relieve some of that pain.
The Manufacturing Institute estimates that 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will open up over the next decade, with around 2 million of those remaining vacant if America continues the course it’s on. However, with the prospect of company-sponsored apprenticeships, individuals could spend several years developing on-the-job skills a few days a week while taking classes one or two days a week – and not accruing any student debt in the process. Apprentices who follow this type of path have a 90% hire rate at the company where they completed their apprenticeship.
Clearly, employers are not the only ones to benefit from this initiative.
While it remains to be seen if Trump’s plan will play out the way he expects it to, the possibilities are promising, and we look forward to seeing what happens in the next few years.