Of the top 10 hardest-to-fill positions in the US, only three – engineers, nurses, and teachers – require university degrees. The other seven are: skilled trades, IT staff, sales representatives, accounting and finance staff, drivers, mechanics, and machinists.
The reasons employers cannot fill these positions are lack of experience, candidates asking for more money than they can afford to pay, and lack of talent and training.
“This skills mismatch has major ramifications on employment and business success in the US and around the globe,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president for the Americas. “Wise corporate leaders are doing something about it, and we increasingly see that they’re developing workforce strategies and partnerships with local educational institutions to train their next generation of workers.”
President Obama and Congress have acknowledged the problem. Though his demand in January's State of the Union address that colleges and universities bring tuition under control got the thunderous applause, Mr. Obama also prioritized vocational training in his proposed $69.8 billion education budget.
In June, the House education committee passed the Workforce Investment Improvement Act, which will create a fund for local and state officials to address specific needs in their communities and areas – including perhaps vocational training aimed at local employer needs.
“The bill gives states and local entities the flexibility to address their unique workforce needs,” said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) of North Carolina, chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.