Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who is responsible for the skills gap in America?

It's been a familiar lament over the past few years: Even though millions of Americans are unemployed and underemployed, companies across the country just can't find enough qualified workers. New data suggest that although many companies continue to complain about the so-called "skills gap," few are taking steps to fix it, says CNBC.

 A recent CareerBuilder survey of 1,648 U.S. hiring managers and human resource
 professionals found that nearly 80 percent of managers are at least somewhat concerned 
 about the skills gap, but just about 40 percent are doing anything to alleviate it.

 Manpower's own talent shortage survey, released earlier this year, found that 39 percent of
 employers are having trouble finding workers with the right skills, down from 49 percent in 

According to some sources like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools who found that 45 percent of hiring managers think college students would benefit from a more workplace-oriented "trade school-like" higher education system that excludes or de-emphasizes liberal arts. However, the other 55% are fine with the education system that's in place now.

Obviously, the responsibility should be diversified to some extent, but who should take charge? Should colleges do a better job at preparing students for realistic job opportunities? Should businesses take responsibility in selecting the right employees and training them appropriately? Is it all up to the student or adult learner who's in the unemployment or underemployment bind to begin with? Should the military play a role in training their veterans in the workplace? Or should the government play a role with paid internships or On-the-Job training to help a student or adult learner when they successfully receive their degree or certification, but don't have experience to qualify for a company opening?

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