Legislative leaders want to bring to state colleges and universities a version of a high school program which provides real-world job experience. High school students can earn industry certifications while working on their diploma.
“Instead of asking the business community, ‘can you pay for a pizza party?’ It’s asking the business community what are the skills students need in order to be successful in the work force,” Legg said.
Gaetz wants to attack what appears to be a statistical oddity: Half of university and college graduates, a year after graduating, are either unemployed or underemployed. It occurs, he said, in an economy with high unemployment and businesses saying they can’t find qualified people to hire.
“That’s counterintuitive,” Gaetz said. His solution is an industry-driven education system that recognizes the value of professional certification.
“We want to be able to target the funding in areas that will incite and reward our universities, our colleges, our high schools in providing education that is relevant to the economy,” he said.