The White House is looking to fill the skills gap in data-based jobs with a new training initiative

  • The White House unveiled an initiative to promote education and job re-training to prepare workers at all stages of their careers for computer and data-based jobs.
  • The “Pledge to America’s Workers” seeks to help workers and employers adapt to increased automation and the phasing out of manual labour jobs.
  • It will enlist state and local governments, as well as major corporations, to commit to funding and enabling such education and re-training.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday afternoon to unveil a “Pledge to America’s Workers,” a multi-tiered effort to train and prepare workers at all stages of their careers for the increase in data-based jobs.

While nationwide unemployment is at a low 4%, the White House’s new initiative is looking to help close a labour shortage employers are experiencing for jobs such as advanced manufacturing, many of which require computer and data training.

“The larger employers are having trouble finding employees to fill their job vacancies, and the small businesses are struggling even more because they’re competing with the larger business,” White House advisor Ivanka Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen on Thursday morning.

“As a country, by and large, all investment in education stops at the age of 25, and that doesn’t work in such a fast-changing, increasingly digital economy,” Ivanka said.

As more and more manual labour jobs are being phased out in favour of technological and data-based ones, the White House’s plan seeks to both prepare high school students for vocational careers in those areas, as well as re-training older workers to fit new technology-based roles being created in their current companies, as opposed to those workers losing their jobs.

The pledge will enlist governors, local governments, and corporations, who will commit to funding and expanding job re-training for workers. At the signing ceremony Trump was joined by executives from a number of corporations including IBM, Lockheed Martin, and FedEx.

“Today, we’re lifting Americans off the sidelines, out of the margins, and back into the workforce,” Trump said. “By signing the Pledge to America’s Workers, these great companies… are affirming their commitment to train American workers for American jobs, because America’s strength, America’s heart, and America’s soul is found in our people.”

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