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Trump Issues An Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships

June 20, 2017

President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) earlier this month, expanding apprenticeships in America by reducing regulations that often prevent businesses from creating apprenticeship programs. At the signing of the EO, Trump stated that he hopes to “expand apprenticeships and vocational training to help all Americans find a rewarding career, earn a great living, and support themselves and their families.”

For the purpose of this EO, the definition of apprenticeship is an arrangement that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component designed to provide workers with workplace-relevant knowledge and experiences that offer affordable paths to employment. Also, funding will be granted to support apprenticeship programs across different industries, including the development of apprenticeship participation between students at educational institutions.

A primary aspect of the EO is to evaluate whether an apprenticeship system might help other businesses bridge skills gaps and deliver good-paying jobs as they have done in the construction industry. To determine this, the EO calls for the establishment of a Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion that would recommend where to expand apprenticeships programs and also ascertain methods to improve or eliminate those programs that are currently insufficient.

The Task Force, who will be led by the Secretary of Labor in conjunction with the Secretary of Education and Commerce, will establish industry-recognized apprenticeships and propose regulations, consistent with the applicable law that encourages the development of apprenticeship programs by third parties.  Before any final regulations are issued, the Labor Secretary shall consider and evaluate public comments on any regulations proposed under this EO.