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Joe Nocera

Apprenticeships Could Narrow the U.S. Skills Gap

A real-life suggestion for a reality-show employer.
No, not this kind.

No, not this kind.

Photographer: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In mid-March, during one of those CEO meetings that President Donald Trump used to hold before they were disbanded, Marc Benioff, the chief executive of, was asked to make some brief remarks. One of Benioff’s passions is apprenticeships; he believes that if the U.S. had an apprenticeship system like Germany or Australia, it could make a significant dent in the unemployment rate, especially among the millions of people who lack college degrees.

After quickly introducing himself, Benioff cut to the chase. “We’d love to encourage you to take a moonshot goal of creating 5 million apprenticeships in the next five years,” he told Trump.