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So, the workforce is aging. I've heard figures that up to 70% of the workers in various skilled vocational fields will be of retiring age in the next 5 years. I've had first had experience with this, I do construction blasting work and do not yet have enough experience to qualify for a license to do such work on my own, of the 8 different blasters I have worked with in the last few years, 7 of them are at least 60 years old.
This entire problem is being exacerbated by the current economy, as who wants to pay for a worker and an apprentice at the same time? If the company can only afford one worker, then they are going to go with the man that has 30 or 40 years experience, leaving the trainee to go find a new job, or a new field of work entirely.
To combat this, the EU started up the The Leonardo Da Vinci Program My understanding is this: the program provides funds to businesses willing to take on trainees/apprentices to infuse the workforce with some fresh blood.
I find this to be a great idea, especially in hard times such as this where companies likely do not have the extra money to pay to train someone up. My father, the current president of the ISEE, is trying to import some aspects of this program to America, as the aging workforce will become a rather dire problem for the explosives industry within a decade.
I guess my question is, would this program ever have a chance in America?
Personally I believe it would get bogged down in legislative hell and never see the light of day.