Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff revealed on Tuesday that he has been at his most aggressive with President Donald Trump when advising him to implement apprenticeship schemes to help retrain swathes of U.S. workers.
Benioff first raised hopes of introducing an extensive apprenticeship program at a White House meeting in March. He emphasized that the U.S. had a great opportunity to create apprenticeships for its workers and suggested Trump should target a “moonshot goal” of 5 million new apprenticeships over the next five years. A “moonshot” in this context refers to the launch of a ground-breaking project without the expectation of profit in the near term.
“I went to President Trump and said we have to have an apprenticeship moonshot, we have to be ready to retrain people,” Benioff told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China.
Benioff stressed that because aggressive new technologies – such as artificial intelligence – were forthcoming, governments would need to implement policies now in order to ensure people could remain employable in the future.
“We need to look to countries like Germany and Switzerland who have amazing apprenticeship programs and do this incredible next generation workforce development and that’s really the advice that I have given most aggressively,” he said on Tuesday.