Legislation Would Aid Job Training for Skilled Labor Positions

HARRISBURG — Senator Scott Martin (R-13) has introduced legislation that would help streamline job training for new workers in a variety of industries in Pennsylvania.

Current law allows employers to train new employees through apprenticeship programs in which new workers are taught and supervised by experienced workers. The federal government mandates a ratio of at least one experienced journeyman worker per apprentice.

However, Pennsylvania’s burdensome and antiquated regulatory environment currently requires a higher journeyman-to-apprentice ratio than what is required by federal law. For example, almost 90 percent of firms in the construction industry must devote four existing employees to the supervision of each new trainee.

Senate Bill 429 would establish a one-to-one ratio of journeymen to apprentices to make it easier for employers to hire and train new employees efficiently. The ratio would mirror regulations established by the federal government. Contractors with labor unions already have the ability to utilize these lower ratios through negotiated contracts but non-union companies do not have this ability and are at an economic disadvantage.

“This is a perfect example of the kind of overregulation that only hinders job creation and hurts companies who are trying to hire quality employees,” Martin said. “Current state regulations pertaining to apprentice ratios make it far more difficult for job-creators to train skilled workers, drives up costs and puts companies at a competitive disadvantage. My bill is designed to remove an unnecessary barrier to job creation and reinvigorate the workforce in industries that are struggling to meet the demand for skilled workers.”

CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535

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