Trump to tout apprenticeships as way to fill jobs gap

When Schumer was asked what he thought about House Speaker Paul Ryan's defense of Trump that he is new at government and was perhaps unfamiliar with the protocols of handling such situations, Schumer said the fact that Trump asked for the room to be cleared before he spoke with Comey indicated the conversation was not an inadvertent mistake.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 12, 2017.

President Donald Trump is making the case for more apprenticeships to match workers with millions of open jobs, invoking the namesake of his long-running reality television show.

"I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future", Trump told reporters Friday when asked about the existence of any tapes. The push so far lacks the details of a significant policy drive. Wisconsin was a key part of his 2016 election triumph and Trump became the first Republican to carry the state in a presidential election since 1984.

Prior to the event on apprenticeships, President Trump joined with four people he described as "victims" of the President Barack Obama's health care law on an airport tarmac in Milwaukee.

To turn to jobs and apprenticeships in particular, Trump is visiting a technical college in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, delivering a policy speech at the Labor Department on Wednesday and meeting with eight governors at the White House on Thursday.

Apprenticeships are few and far between. He intends to improve co-ordination on the issue among businesses, schools and government leaders.

Another complication is only about half of apprentices finish their multi-year programmes, Mr Lerman said.

The president has accepted a challenge from Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff to create 5 million apprenticeships over five years.

The Trump administration has said there's a need that can be met with a change in the American attitude toward vocational education and apprenticeships.

Funding may also prove an obstacle. The $90 million spent on apprenticeships would be spared.

"There aren't enough people to fill the jobs and the people applying don't have the skills necessary", said Conor Smyth, spokesman for the Wisconsin Technical College System, where President and Ivanka Trump, Acosta and Walker were visiting.

Angela Hanks, of the liberal Center for American Progress, said the Trump budget betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of how apprenticeship programs work.

"I plan on welding for a good part of my life, until retirement", she said.

The shortages for specifically-trained workers cut across multiple job sectors beyond President Trump's beloved construction trades. The number of job openings climbed above 6 million in April, an all-time high, but the level of hiring has barely risen over the past year. There are shortages in agriculture, manufacturing, information technology and health care.

The Obama-era Labor Department - it also encouraged apprenticeships - noted that 91 per cent of those that completed the programs found jobs with average incomes above $60,000.

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