Lawmakers in Georgia could pass a new bill that will enable kids to begin their careers early in life from the young age of 15.
An apprenticeship program has been tabled by Lawmakers in Georgia that could see 15-year-old students be given an early start into their careers, Fox5Atlanta reported.
Through a collaboration with the Technical College System of Georgia, Senate Bill 379 proposes a $1.2 million state apprenticeship program for eligible students.
A CBS46 report mentioned that students who enrol in the program could be exposed to various industries such as manufacturing, construction, automotive, health, and cybersecurity.
President of the Georgia Association of Manufacturers, Roy Bown, says the apprenticeship program could help expose students to manufacturing roles in the industry.
According to the state of Georgia, participants in the apprenticeship program will reportedly earn $25,000 by the time they graduate from high school.
This is also said to be a way to help recipients bag good-paying jobs within the five-figure bracket in the future and help mitigate student loan debt.
The program is argued as a way to particularly help rural Georgia, especially those pupils from low-earning income families.
Through Georgia State Senator Brian Strickland's sponsorship, this apprentice program is said to aid young scholars in getting a jumpstart of their careers.
In trying to motivate the urgency of this bill for the program, Senator Strickland said:
It will allow businesses in communities where there are not a great deal of workers available or higher educational opportunities to immediately bring in workers today without waiting on individuals to return after obtaining a traditional college degree"
The bill that is encapsulating this apprentice program has the potential to help industries hit hard by a worker shortage, according to Strickland.
The U.S. Department of Labor has strict rules when it comes to hiring minors in manufacturing jobs, but there are exceptions for apprentices and student-learners who are at least 16 years of age.
- The regulations provided a limited exemption for apprentices to anyone at least 16-years of age and enrolled in approved programs with strictly limited hours.
The O.O.L. Child Labor Regulation No. 3, 29 C.F.R. §§ 570.33 is explicitly against children working in hazardous workrooms or workplaces where goods are manufactured.
As such, the bill's passing could help provide a clear framework on what the requirements are going to be and what industries or roles will participants be placed in.
- Additional sourcing from CBS., U.S. Labor Department & News Observer.