New law creates career-focused apprenticeship program

High school students will soon have another option to help prepare them for their future careers. Seeking to connect talented young people with good-paying jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree, House Bill 5247 requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt rules that would allow students ages 16 and older to participate in industry-based occupational apprenticeship programs.

The standards of the programs will be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The ISBE rules will allow students to waive certain non-academic graduation requirements that would otherwise stop them from being able to take part in the apprenticeship programs.

Similar bills sponsored and signed into law this year to increase opportunities for students include measures to combat the teacher shortage, and dual credit programs to help students save money and get a head-start on college.

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