WASHINGTON – Applicants for jobs in the federal government will now be investigated based on their abilities rather than whether they have a relevant college degree after President Trump on Friday signed an executive order directing his agencies to change their hiring practices.
At a signing ceremony at the White House, the president and other administration officials said the order would create a more merit-based and opportunity-based system for Americans who had previously been excluded from the workforce.
“The federal government will no longer focus closely on where he went to school, but on the skills and talents he brings to the job,” Trump said during the signing that coincided with a meeting of his American Labor Policy Advisory Board.
The order will order federal agencies to switch to skills-based and skills-based recruitment instead of title-based recruitment that “excludes capable candidates and undermines the efficiency of the labor market,” the order said.
Trump praised his daughter, senior adviser and co-chair of the policy board, Ivanka Trump, for leading the charge on the hiring edict.
“This will allow us to better recognize the talents and skills of all the Americans we hire,” said First Daughter, asking the private sector to do the same.
With 2.1 million civilian workers, the federal government is the largest employer in the United States, and the order will open the doors for two-thirds of American adults who do not have a college degree.
White House aides said the new order would level the playing field and remove barriers to employment with the sheer number of 47 million Americans filing unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Job applicants for federal concerts will now be vetted by relevant experts who will assess whether they possess the skills and ability to perform the job they are applying for, said Michael Regas, acting chief of the Office of Personnel Management that oversees all federal hiring.
College degree requirements will not be eliminated entirely, but skills in jobs where holding a degree is less important will be emphasized under the new order, which will be implemented by the Regas office.
“Those without a degree are at a significant disadvantage in the federal hiring process. Although educational credentials are critical in many lines of work, such as the medical and legal fields, this is much less clear in other areas, ”Regas said.
“The civil service will create a more merit-based system. I am very eager to follow the directive that the President will sign today, “he continued, and promised to review the standards that are” limited opportunities for those with diverse employment backgrounds. “