“Unemployment’s up, but I still can’t find the workers I need!” Sound familiar? It’s the skills gap—the gap between what employers need and what job seekers are offering. Here are ideas for enhancing your understanding of this important issue.
Understanding the gap
The skills gap is a complex issue, with lots of disagreement about causes and solutions. Here are some factors experts have identified:
Not enough of the right graduates. For in-demand jobs in health care, engineering, computer science, and advanced manufacturing, there aren’t enough people being trained.
Poor yields from automated job match programs. Some employers fill job ads with a list of ideal requirements most applicants won’t meet, resulting in low match rates and few potential candidates.
Reluctance to provide training. Many employers would prefer that job seekers and employees provide all their own training, but this is increasingly unrealistic.
Inadequate compensation. Some organizations can’t find candidates because the pay they offer, especially for in-demand jobs, is not competitive with other employers in their area.
The growing need for soft skills. Many new graduates, while tech-savvy, lack basic communication skills and other critical soft skills.
Want to learn more about this issue? Several Business Center tools provide related information:
- The Available Workforce tool provides local and national labor market information for occupations and industries.
- The Compare Occupations tool shows similarities and differences in skills related to any two occupations.
- The Competency Model Clearinghouse describes how to develop and use competency models.
- The Find Local Training Programs tool will connect you to local training programs.
Need help finding workers with the right skills? Contact your American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative or other resources that can help.
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