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Senate bill would expand licensing opportunities via apprenticeship programs

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Apprenticeships are a system of training that helps employees gain skills and experience in a specific field. Senate Bill 877, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison, would give apprentices greater ability to earn licensed credentials through an alternative training pathway.

“Apprenticeships can help provide opportunities for people to learn in a very practical way and allowing them to collect a paycheck while they are learning,” said Burlison, a 2019 Missouri Chamber Business Champion.

This bill establishes the Expanded Workforce Access Act of 2020, allowing an applicant with an 8th grade education or higher who has completed a federally approved apprenticeship program and passed any necessary examination to obtain an industry license.

“This bill will also make sure that apprenticeships have similar standards to the educational requirements for those who attend a trade school rather than the vastly inflated hours some professions require,” Burlison said.

The Workforce2030 Report, commissioned by the Missouri Chamber Foundation, recommends the expansion of apprenticeship opportunities. Kara Corches, the Missouri Chamber’s director of legislative affairs, said the bill would help address workforce shortage within the state.

A hearing was conducted on the bill on Mar. 2 by the Senate Professional Registration Committee. The bill awaits a vote.

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