Washington, D.C. — Carmel Martin, executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the Trump administration released new details around its apprenticeship and job training agenda:
The Trump administration is commemorating “workforce development week” just after releasing a budget that would decimate funding for employment and job training programs that help millions of people find work each year. After the Obama administration invested an unprecedented $265 million to double the number of registered apprenticeship programs in five years, the Trump administration’s proposal to undermine Registered Apprenticeships considerably is deeply concerning. The apprenticeship registration process is an indispensable quality assurance mechanism that ensures programs comply with labor standards governing wages, training, and equal opportunity employment. The credential that registered apprentices receive upon completion also sends a clear signal to employers that the worker possesses necessary skills. The administration’s actions will almost certainly lead to a wave of low-quality programs that do not offer the wages or quality training that make apprenticeships popular among workers, businesses, and policymakers.
Concerningly, today’s executive order could open the door to allowing any provider—including fly-by-night sham colleges such as Trump University—to develop a low-wage, low-quality program and call it a Registered Apprenticeship. Even worse, these programs would be eligible for already limited federal funding for job training that would be made scarce under the president’s budget. So far, this administration has shown little commitment to the important work of helping workers find stable, family sustaining jobs.
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