President Trump plans to direct the federal government to change its hiring practices by prioritizing job applicant skills over college degrees, according to administration and industry officials.
The president is expected to sign an executive order Friday outlining the new approach for the government during a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which advises the administration on worker policies.
With 2.1 million civilian workers, excluding postal service employees, the federal government is the nation’s largest employer.
First daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump is the co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and has worked on improving job training to meet employers’ evolving needs.
She predicted the change in federal government hiring would create a more inclusive and talented workforce — and encouraged the private sector to follow the administration’s lead.
“We are modernizing federal hiring to find candidates with the relevant competencies and knowledge, rather than simply recruiting based on degree requirements,” she told the Associated Press in a statement.
“We encourage employers everywhere to take a look at their hiring practices and think critically about how initiatives like these can help diversify and strengthen their workforce,” she added.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the need for skills training and apprenticeships is as great as it was before the coronavirus pandemic led the national unemployment rate to climb above 13 percent last month.
“Americans are eager to get to work but they need our help,” said Ross, the board’s other co-chair.
College degree requirements won’t be tossed completely, but skills in jobs where having a degree is less important will be stressed under the new order, which will be implemented by the Office of Personnel Management.
Administration aides say the change will create more opportunities for people to work for the government by recognizing that a lot of learning happens outside of classrooms.
With Post wires
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