5 Important Facts About the Skills Gap

RL05-25-2016In today’s workforce, there is a growing disconnect between the skills, training, and experience workers have and the job requirements employers need. From a lack of skilled laborers to being unable to fill job positions, the skills gap is one of the toughest challenges businesses face. Here are five important facts you should know about the widening skills gap.

The Skills Gap Costs Companies

A Harris Poll study conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder found that 60% of companies worry about the cost of having jobs go unfilled due to lack of skilled workers, and 25% cited revenue losses associated with the skills gap. On top of fiduciary constraints, the lack of qualified workers costs companies in other ways—41% experienced low morale due to uneven work responsibilities, 40% said work doesn’t get accomplished, 30% have had a decline in customer service, and 25% have more employee mistakes, resulting in poor quality of work.

Mismatch: Skills People Have vs Skills Employers Need

According to a May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, there were 5.8 million job openings in the U.S. in March 2016. A recent survey of businesses by Express Employment Professionals answered why these jobs are going unfilled. Lack of available applicants, lack of experience, and lack of hard skills were the top three reasons job postings remain open. According to Express CEO Bob Funk, the findings show that there is a “mismatch between the skills people have and the skills employers need.”

Younger Generations More Educated, Less Skilled         

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 29% of Baby Boomers have attained at least a bachelor’s degree by age 42 and 35% of Gen Xers have a degree. Though younger generations haven’t finished their college education, 66% of high school graduates enrolled in college in 2013. Millennials are on track to become the largest college-educated group of any generation. The problem is well-educated people sometimes lack basic workplace skills. According to researchers at Princeton-based Educational Testing Services, American Millennials ranked among the lowest in the world when it came to skills employers need, including literacy, practical math, and problem-solving. Canada is experiencing a similar skills gap as a study by Canada West Foundation found 40% of workers lack the skills to perform their jobs.

10,000 Baby Boomers Reach Retirement Age Every Day

The generational shift in the workforce is causing a schism in the workplace. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age at the alarming rate of 10,000 per day. And, as Baby Boomers near retirement and Millennials step into leadership roles, the two largest generations in the labor force are switching places.

Companies Combat the Gap with Training

CareerBuilder’s study on the skills gap also unveiled what companies are doing to bridge the gap within their workforce. Instead of allowing positions to go unfilled, 61% of companies hire individuals who don’t meet job requirements and plan to help them grow into their positions. Additionally, 49% of businesses plan to train employees who don’t have experience in their respective industries or fields.

What other interesting facts do you have about the skills gap? What is your company doing to bridge it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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2 Responses to 5 Important Facts About the Skills Gap

  1. Warren Hartz June 7, 2016 at 7:35 am #

    I cannot comment on the percentages in the reports but I agree that the trends shown are accurate. This just proves that our secondary and primary educational systems are failing in their mission even as the cost of education outpaces the general inflation rate. It seems that many schools are more concerned about political correctness and protecting student’s delicate feelings than rigorous academic pursuit.

  2. Joyce Tackett June 10, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I agree with Warren Hartz 100%. It’s not that the millennials won’t be able to handle such tasks, I just don’t think they will be able to carry it out, make a commitment like the baby boomers have done. You can get all the education in the world. Memorize a lot of it, pantomime there way through things; the jest of it is when it comes down to hands on; physically and mentally and keeping that mentality; staying focused, it will be a challenge. They’ll get bored with it and want to move on to something else. All I say is “Good Luck.”

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