Advocates of paid educational programs claim that worker training can lead to eventual economic stability, but must first convince the government it is worth the investment
Prior to Donald Trump officially taking office as President of the United States, Ammar C-Najjar, who formerly worked in the Labor Department, sent him a memo requesting his support for apprenticeship.
Najjar wrote that the apprenticeship program had a similar name to his show (“The Apprentice”) and that Trump should simply add his name to the endeavor and profit from it.
Najjar never received an answer from Trump, but Congress took note of the model and recently increased the federal funding budget for apprenticeships by an additional $5 million a year, raising the total budget to a considerable $95 million annually.
Apprenticeship enables participants to train to enter the workforce while avoiding the hundreds and thousands of dollars of debt college students across the United States are saddled with today: apprentices are paid while they learn.
Najjar aspires to mimic European apprenticeship models, which are heavily funded and just as successful
The program has immense success rates, with nearly 90% of participants completing their programs and already having acquired a job, and is being suggested as a potential solution to America’s severe crisis of student debt and high rates of unemployed graduates.
In her advocacy of the successes of the apprenticeship program, Najjar mentions countries like Switzerland and Germany who have invested billions of dollars into an apprenticeship, adding that instead of funding a border wall between Mexico and the U.S., the money could be better used to improve and expand apprenticeship programs.
Najjar remains optimistic for the future of apprenticeship, as the program has been supported by both Obama and Trump’s respective administrations, and President Trump signed an order to establish an official task force to expand apprenticeship and promote the program.