We will hire staff based on skills, talents not degrees - Donald Trump

The federal government will no longer be narrowly focused on where you went to school, but the skills and talents that you bring to the job," Trump said.
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President Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump (R) attend an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board Meeting in the Room of the White House on June 26, 2020 [MANDEL NGAN, AFP via Getty Images]

If finding any employment with the federal government, a college degree won't give Americans a leg up again.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to change the hiring practices of the government and give preference and the expertise of a job applicant over a college degree.

Administration officials say the move would encourage the government to employ a more inclusive skill-based workforce, rather than the level of education of a individual.

“This will ensure that we’re able to hire based on talent and expand our universe to qualified candidates and ensure a more equitable hiring process,”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior advisor, told reporters on Friday.

Ivanka Trump is the co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, founded in 2018, with the aim of finding ways to enhance workforce training. At the Board meeting on Friday, the President signed the order.

“The federal government will no longer be narrowly focused on where you went to school, but the skills and talents that you bring to the job," Trump said.

The federal government is the largest employer in the world, with 2.1 million civilian workers.

Ivanka Trump said the recent recruiting strategy shows the government is leading by example as it strives to hire and retain the best and brightest employees. She and other officials in the administration have sought to expand apprenticeship opportunities and have encouraged such training and vocational education as alternatives to conventional two-year or four-year college graduation programs.

According to Brooke Rollins, acting director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, which manages the President's domestic agenda, the change in hiring policies would understand the importance of learning regardless of whether it happens on the job or in the classroom.


The government does not entirely eliminate the college requirement but will instead stress skills in jobs where it is less important to have a degree. Two-thirds of Americans do not hold a university degree.

A college or graduate degree is required to work in many occupations, but for many other fields, the need for educational credentials is less certain, said Michael Rigas, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

Trump's executive order requires federal agencies to switch from screening work applicants based solely on their educational qualifications and written questionnaires to using evaluation criteria that can assess more directly whether they have the experience and expertise to do the work, Rigas said.

The government will also review job qualification standards in cases where opportunities for people with different backgrounds are limited, Rigas said.

He said,

The federal government should welcome job seekers with needed skills, regardless of how they acquired them,”.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the other co-chair of the workforce advisory board, said the need for skills training and apprenticeships is as strong as it was before millions of people were forced out of jobs by the coronavirus pandemic, raising the national unemployment rate above 13 per cent in May.

Americans are eager to get to work but they need our help,” Ross said.

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