It’s not very often we hear good news coming out of Washington or that members of Congress worked together and actually did something in a truly bipartisan way. Besides, to most people, bills introduced in the legislature tend to sound boring or seem to not apply to the average person. However, H.R. 447, the National Apprenticeship Act of 2021 is one you’ll want to keep an eye on!
An earlier version of this bill was passed by the House in 2020. Unfortunately, it did not see action in the Senate before the last session of Congress ended. The bill was introduced again in January 2021 by Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), Chair of the Committee on Education and Labor. It passed in the House of Representatives in February with bipartisan support (247 to 173) and is now on its way to the Senate.
According to a fact sheet issued by the House Committee on Education and Labor, this act would invest “more than $3.5 billion over 5 years in expanding opportunities and access to Registered Apprenticeships (RA), youth apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships. The proposal would create nearly 1 million new apprenticeship opportunities on top of the current expected growth of the apprenticeship system.”
Judging from popularity of the Career Lantern post Apprenticeships: Get Paid While Pursuing Your Career, interest in apprenticeships is very strong indeed! This should not be surprising as apprenticeships are an excellent way to pursue a career and get paid while learning. The fact sheet cited earlier stated that 94% of people who complete RAs are employed upon completion, earning an average starting wage of above $70,000 annually. Not a bad deal!
So what’s next for this bill? As of this writing, H.R. 447 has passed the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate. If the Senate passes the act, it will then proceed to the President for his signature. If signed by President Biden, it will become law and go into effect July 1, 2022.
To keep track of H.R. 447 and check its current status, go to the congressional website at https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/447. There may be more opportunities for an apprenticeship in your future!
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment and share your experience or thoughts!