This report outlines the results of an investigation by the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) into the role of “Training Repayment Agreement Provisions” (TRAPs) as a form of shadow student debt. The investigation reveals that TRAPs have become more prominent in use by major employers, which often control a large market share of their respective industry, affecting millions of workers every day. Although employers argue that these provisions are a useful way to recoup the cost of teaching useful skills to employees who may depart sooner than anticipated, TRAPs are instead often used to trap people in poor working environments and low-paying jobs. In other words, TRAPs function in the real world as a penalty for leaving a job. And, even if this TRAP is not enforced, its presence has the power to accomplish the intended consequence of pressuring workers into staying.
A set of exhibits documenting the SBPC’s findings is available here.
To learn more about the SBPC’s work related to shadow student debt, click here.
To learn more about the SBPC’s work related to training repayment agreements provisions, click here.