Some Americans lack job skills, says Labour Secretary Nominee Alexander Acosta

Alexander Acosta, the Labour Secretary nominee from the Trump administration, has stressed H-1B work visa doesn’t intend to replace American workers.

He also acknowledged that there is a shortage of skilled workers in the US.

Also read: Elizabeth Warren has a major issue with Trump's new pick for Labor Secretary

Advertisement

"Some Americans have seen jobs go overseas. Some Americans have seen jobs filled by foreign workers. Indeed, I've read reports that some Americans have been asked to train their foreign replacements," he told Senators during his confirmation hearing. "And some Americans see that jobs are available, but these available jobs require skills that they do not have," he added.

Also read: Indians don’t steal jobs, they create them, says Ravi Shankar Prasad amid H1B visa row

While answering Senators, he said that it's an important issue and deserved to be looked at.

Advertisement

"Particularly, when, in those circumstances that I highlighted where Americans are being asked to train their foreign replacements. That is not the intent of the H-1B," Acosta said.

Also read: Trump order or not, this is how Indian IT companies are changing plans as H1B visa application process starts next month

"So one question that I would have is, how often is that happening? Is that something that we should be looking at with greater degree of care? I think we also need to work with, public-private partnerships. I know that there is a lot of discussion about an infrastructure programme. An infrastructure programme will certainly bring back a lot of jobs," he said.

Advertisement

He also expressed concern over the skill gap that pertains in the US.

"As I visited with Members of this Committee, I repeatedly heard that in your states the jobs are there, but the skills too often are not. In one of your states, for example, a community college was teaching welding techniques that employers no longer used," he said.

Also read: Amidst visa uncertainty in US, Mexico encourages firms to hire foreign talent

Advertisement

"Not surprisingly, the students could not get a job when they graduate. We can and must work to reduce the skills gap. We need to make better efforts to align job training with the skills the market demands of its workers, especially as advancing technology changes the types of jobs available in our economy," he added.

(Image source: The Daily Signal)