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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Solutions to the Skills Training Shortage

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Yea, yea, heard about the skills shortage, but what about the solutions? Lets hear about that for a change!
skills shortage


1st, look at the four primary reasons for the national skills shortage. (In order of most contributed to problem, to least) The bottom line is always about money (not enough paid/cost too much).

1. Manufacturers not willing to pay for the new/right skill set. (Outline in article by Ryan Chittum)
2. Whiplash effect (manufacturing industry sold us out in the past for quick returns via cheap labor)(George Fletcher)
3. Disconnect between education providers and manufacturer's needs, and future needs.
4. Compounded by baby boomers retiring (and a little by economy)

Yes, the topic "Skill Shortage" is overplayed and over simplified. What needs more coverage is "Skill Shortage SOLUTIONS!"

National Skills Coalition is working on number 3 with a lot of viable solutions. But as well as those kind of big slow moving long term initiatives, we also need quick inexpensive short term solutions that appeal to the #1 barrier above (money) as well as the #2 (skills gap). Like real-world interactive troubleshooting training software that allows student first entering the job market to gain years of troubleshooting skills and experience, in just days.

Also specific skill sets that formal educational institutions neglected to teach, being taught by seasoned vets to the industry via short 3 day hands on workshops. (Not the typical seminars where textbook and theory are presented on PowerPoints, but actual hands-on real equipment, best-practices, safety and reliability type training.) These software and workshop solutions will help close the skills gap quicker, at minimum cost and time, there by addressing all 4 of the primary reasons for the skills gap. (links above are examples I know of, sure there are a few others out there too:>)

But back to the bottom line, yes manufacturing and educational institutions will need to step up to plate and spend more money on training to make up for their past shortcomings and short term gains. It always cost most in the long run, costing them more now than they saved in the past by cutting, and will cost them even more in the future if they skimp now. It is time for the industry to learn from past mistakes and do the responsible thing.


Don (Follow me on Industrial Skills Training Blog and on Twitter @IndTraining .) Be sure to to stay on top!
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