Apprenticeship programs are an important job and career readiness option, especially in the current environment where many people may no longer be able to afford — or want to attend — traditional postsecondary education, or may need retraining in new industries after a job loss. Supporting and expanding the existing apprenticeship program at the Dept. of Labor is the easiest way for Congress to expand the availability of apprenticeships across the United States.
The existing apprenticeship program at the Dept. of Labor is outdated and doesn’t meet the needs of many businesses, which would prefer to determine their own apprenticeship training requirements without the oversight of bureaucrats who don’t necessarily have the expertise to determine what skills are needed to train workers in a particular industry. Rather than expanding the existing apprenticeship program, Congress should take time to think about how to support industry-led apprenticeship programs that businesses take the lead in developing and administering.