Skills Gaps in the US

There were 5.6 million job openings in the US as of Dec. 2016 (Dept. of Labor). Almost triple the 2.1 million in July, 2009, just after the recession. American companies are hiring. 

Hidden by the large numbers of job openings is a problem - many Americans lack skills to fill the jobs. We have skills gaps.  An example: About 3.4 million manufacturing jobs will become available by 2025 (Manufacturing Institute/Deloitte, 2015). 2 million of them will go unfilled. Why? 

92% of executives think American workers aren't as skilled as they need to be (Adecco survey). 30% see Manufacturing, 21% Information Technology (IT), and 11% Healthcare as industries most affected by skills gaps.  

44% of executives think Americans are lacking interpersonal skills – communication, leadership, collaboration, working across cultures, conflict resolution, etc. Candidates may look good on paper, but they don’t know how to effectively work on a team or in an office.  As a result, nearly 50% of executives feel they are missing out on growth opportunities and 30% think company profits are being hurt (Adecco). 

One important solution is Apprenticeships - 89% of executives see apprenticeships or similar training programs as helping alleviate skills gaps.  Middle-skills jobs, which require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree, make up the largest part of America’s labor market. 70% of available jobs in 2015 did not require a four-year degree (National Skills Coalition analysis, Bureau of Labor stats, May, ‘15).  

Some students who go to 4-year colleges are better suited for initial work as an apprentice. Apprentices get paid while they work, and concurrently study toward further skills and academic proficiency – “earn while you learn”. Some skilled jobs pay better than entry level Wall Street positions. 

There are now degree apprenticeship programs which achieve master’s degrees in IT, Banking, etc. while the candidates earn competitive salaries for four years. 

ProgressiveCareer and I can help. We have great expertise and experience in developing and implementing successful Apprenticeship programs. We can help you put this kind of Progressive talent program in place for your business.   

We also have a series of 3E's interpersonal skills workshops, to prepare people for the personal challenges of succeeding in the workplace. Investments in outstanding onboarding and training are proven to close skills gaps, increase employee engagement and attract top talent. 

Please visit our website to get in touch and learn more. For more information and some additional facts on skills gaps, please look here

Thanks. Gordon

For more information or the articles referenced above, see here.