Lawmakers file bills elevating apprenticeship programs to students

Legislation filed last week would connect high school and middle school students to job training programs, helping provide youth a pathway to the workforce that doesn’t go through college.

Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Jason Shoaf‘s bills (SB 508/HB 175), titled Apprenticeship and Preapprenticeship Programs, would require the Department of Education to alert students in grades 6 through 12 to apprenticeship and career opportunities. DOE would also have to develop a detailed process for education agencies to create training programs with private apprenticeship groups.

“College is not for everyone, but everyone should have a chance at a good job that will pay well and provide for their families,” said Shoaf, a Port St. Joe Republican. “Through apprenticeships, Floridians can learn and practice the skills they need to pursue good paying careers.”

The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics projects the demand for many skilled jobs in America to grow faster than average between 2019 and 2029. Those jobs include elevator installers, insulation workers, millwrights, iron workers and steelworkers, and many of those careers pay up to $60,000-$80,000 in annual salary.

“There’s a real demand for skilled workers,” Shoaf said. “If we help Floridians gain the skills and training needed, Floridians can get back to

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