Apprenticeships Close Skills Gap

U.S. factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t.

(Rugaber - AP – February 23, 2017)

Imagine what a difference apprenticeships could make for millennials and future generations, as well as their children, not to mention the rest of United States citizens.

Manufacturing companies develop entry-level minimum wage apprentice-type jobs for high school graduates. Companies train these young workers to become the skilled workers they need. Because lower wages are paid to apprentices, companies can stay in the U.S. and hire here.

Student loans decrease because there are alternatives to and perhaps better than the usual college degree. (I’ll be you know at least one young person with a degree who is working behind the counter in fast food or retail stores.) Because they aren’t in debt up to their eyeballs, apprentices can afford to make a lesser wage for a while.  (They need a roommate or two to get their own place to live because they start out at minimum wage? So what – they’ll have roommates in college dorms, too.)

Not only do apprentices learn specific job skills, they also learn workplace soft skills like being on time, working well with others, etc. Wages go up as they learn more, do more, and exhibit correct job-place attitudes and ethics.  These young adults move up into more skilled positions and, eventually, they become the skilled workers who train the next generation of apprentices.

This model would even cause taxes to go down. How? If a college grad is working at the fast food or retail counter, they probably aren’t paying back their government subsidized student loan. Who is? All of us – via taxes.