WASHINGTON— Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021. The bill will create approximately 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities over the next five years. With a current economic crisis due to the pandemic, this provides new opportunities for America’s workers to receive new, good-paying jobs.
“Apprenticeships have proven vital for millions of workers by providing them with strong wages and benefits and pathways to the middle class both during their apprenticeship and well after its completion,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “Expanding this program and connecting more people to good-paying jobs is a critical component of ensuring a strong economic recovery once the pandemic ends.”
Registered apprenticeships provide on-the-job training, with participants receiving on average $15 an hour. After the program, approximately ninety-four percent of participants remain gainfully employed with average starting wages exceeding $70,000 annually. In addition to increasing funding for apprenticeships, the bill will make it easier to workers and employers to participate in the program and expand it to more occupations.
“We should exhaust every opportunity available to get people back to work,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “Expanding high-quality apprenticeship programs ensure that when people can return to work, more options are available to not just return to how things were before the pandemic, but better.”