Stating that replacement of American workers is not the intent of H-1B work visa, the Donald Trump administration nominee for Labour Secretary has recognized the lack of skilled employees in the United States.
“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,” Alexander Acosta, the Labour Secretary nominee, 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 told yesterday.
Replying to questions from Senators, Acosta told that it’s necessary to see the issue that he highlighted about international workers taking American jobs.
“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.
“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.
Acosta told for all of these, it’s not just the jobs as part of an infrastructure program or jobs that are generated for a tiny business but as individuals get jobs, they spend money.
“Then those individuals that spend money go to restaurants. And you have this multiplier effect throughout the economy that I think is incredibly valuable,” he added.
According to him now many Americans are suffering the same conflicts his parents endured, only worse.
“My parents had jobs, but not all Americans have jobs,”
he told, continuing that helping Americans find stable jobs, safe jobs, should not be a particular issue.
In his testimony, Acosta expressed concern over skill gap. “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.
“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.