"A business roundtable survey released just last week found that 95% of executives reported problems finding qualified workers." Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta

This is a problem that cannot be attributed to any one person or business. It is instead a failure of the overall educational and business system. The skills needed to succeed in a given position simply are not being taught where they should be, that is in schools and universities. It is here where most of their workforce is coming from. While the jobs are there, the issue is finding people who can masterfully complete the skills required for them.

The only way this problem can be solved is through apprenticeships programs. These are positions which allow individuals the chance to apply skills they have learned in school to a real-world setting. For many, it is their first chance to really put their skills to the test. It is only when schools and universities work together with businesses, can people really succeed.

White House Press Briefing

As part of what is being dubbed the "Work Force Week" at the White House, the Secretary of Labor, Alex Acosta began by talking a bit about the status of our current labor market. As of this date June 12, 2017, our unemployment rate is down to 4.3%, the lowest it's been since 2001. As amazing as that is, the best way to keep it so is to invest in more experience-based education.

This means more internships, or as he called them "apprenticeships", as some learn better by doing than in traditional classroom settings.

In other words, while academic learning is good and has its place, it is not the only thing important when it comes to gaining a job. This is because a classroom can only teach a person so much.

Only with real world experience, i.e. an apprenticeship can they really can the experience needed to succeed in the workforce. Nowhere else can a person gain the same hands-on experience.

If President Trump has his way, and his plans to make cuts to our current education system succeed, however, then most will not even have the chance to find out about these opportunities. This will, of course, be due to the fact that an ever growing number of our population will be unable to afford the cost of higher learning.

This is because it is mostly at these locations that students discover them.

Analysis

When apprenticeships eventually go hand-in-hand with traditional learning, as Acosta is convinced it will, everyone in every sector of the workforce will have the opportunity to take advantage of this. The question then arises of who would pay for this? According to him, private companies would, as "Apprenticeships teach skills needed to help bridge the gap". The gap to which he is referring to is the one between the skills taught in schools and universities and those that are needed in the specific workplace. In other words, both the apprentice and the business would win.

While traditional learning is good and has its place, apprenticeships better serve not just the potential employee, but also the employer as well.

These programs allow individuals to "earn while the learn", in the words of Acosta. In doing this, it not only allows people to begin repaying the ever rising costs of their education but also gain the money and experience they need simply to live.

They do this by essentially allowing the business to hire the person for a trial period and truly see how they fit in with what is needed. More than this, however, it also allows the individual the real world chance to put the skills they have learned, to the test. Can they really do what they claimed they could? At the same time, it also allows them to learn and develop new skills specific to their anticipated job that they would not have otherwise.

Conclusion

In order to close the gap between otherwise qualified workers and executives, one must be afforded the chance to experience an apprenticeship in their desired field. Do they really want it and are they cut out for it? If President Trump has his way and cuts, even more, school funding, then most won't even have a chance to discover these opportunities. Only by incorporating them with traditional learning, can an individual really succeed. This is because it allows both the apprentice and the executive to have a "try it before you buy it" period and discover if they are really cut out for the job at hand.

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