Legislation allowing high school students to participate in registered apprenticeship programs passed the General Assembly ahead of the May 31 session deadline. State Senator Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), Chief Co-sponsor, says House Bill 5247 will help students get a head start on good paying jobs here in Illinois.
House Bill 5247 requires the state board of education to adopt rules that would allow students 16 years of age and older to participate in industry-based occupational apprenticeship programs. The standards of the programs would be reviewed and approved by the US Department of Labor. The ISBE rules would allow students to waive certain non-academic graduation requirements that would otherwise stop them from being able to take part in the apprenticeship programs.
“There is a large number of good-paying jobs here in Illinois that don’t require a college degree, but rather, some sort of special training,” said Connelly. “I think it’s only fair that we provide students who do not plan to attend college the opportunity to gain experience and training for their future career. This legislation will better prepare these students for the workforce, and will give them the boost to be successful in their lives.”