Trump signs order to speed creation of job apprenticeships

WASHINGTON, June 15 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday that aims to accelerate the creation of apprenticeships to help unemployed Americans get trained for what the White House said are millions of unfilled jobs.

The White House said Trump's order is an offshoot of feedback he has received from business leaders, state officials and community college leaders, who told him the federal government needs to be more flexible in how it administers apprenticeship and job training programs.

The order doubles funding for apprenticeship grants to $200 million by pulling money from existing programs. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta is to review 43 job training programs spread across 13 agencies to find ways to make them more accountable and effective.

Trump has focused in part this week on workforce development as he tries to carry out his campaign pledge to help cities and communities hard-hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The White House said there are as many as 6 million unfilled jobs that require employees who are adequately trained for the positions.

Under the order, the Labor Department would allow companies, trade associations and unions to develop their own guidelines for apprenticeship programs, which it would then review for quality and approve them. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)