A new push for apprenticeships looks to address the skills gap in the U.S.

Photo: Sue Sapp / U. S. Air Force

Photo: Sue Sapp / U. S. Air Force

In today's rapidly changing economy, many companies are struggling to find talent. Particularly in the United States, companies are having a hard time finding local talent. “The U.S. faces a serious skills gap,” Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta said during a call last week, indicating that currently there are 6 million job openings in the country. 

U.S. President Donald Trump took an important step toward addressing the skills gap, signing the executive order ‘Expanding Apprenticeships in America’ in order to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs.  

“Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,” Mr. Trump said. “Instead apprentices earn while they learn.”

Mr. Trump highlighted the high costs of a higher education in the U.S. and the “crushing debt” students have to carry after graduating. “Many colleges and universities fail to help students graduate with the skills necessary to secure high paying jobs in today's workforce.” 

To address this issue, Mr. Trump more than doubled the federal budget for new apprenticeship training programs, from $90 million to $190 million. 

The U.S. bet on apprenticeships is supported on the idea that apprenticeships provide paid, relevant workplace experiences and opportunities to develop skills that employers value while providing affordable paths to good paying full-time jobs.