Is There a Shortage of Skilled Workers


There are different jobs, each requiring a specific skill-set to be carried out efficiently. That is where the skilled workforce conversation comes in. A skilled worker has special knowledge, skill, training, and capacity in a particular task. To gain a skill set, people typically attend school, be it a technical college, university, or college, where it is instilled.

You can also become a skilled worker through learning on the job. If you’ve done that specific job over a reasonable period or have a mentor, you might become as skilled as someone who went to school to study that field. Today, the elephant in the room is the evident substantial shortage of skilled workers in the job market.

Researchers who have tried to get to the root of this problem have identified several reasons behind this. Here is a list of some of them.

1. The lucrative world of high-level technology

Many young people today prefer to pursue technology-related courses at colleges and universities. The primary motivation behind this is technology is very lucrative right now and having expertise in technology-related courses puts you in high demand.

Almost everything today requires a person to be tech-savvy. Even simple things like login onto an online casino through the Fair Go casino login Australia requires some level of internet savvy. Being a tech expert is appreciated, and companies are willing to pay big bucks to technology gurus.

The promise of a gratifying job and a comfortable lifestyle pulls younger generations towards careers in programming, coding, and other tech careers, away from practical trades. This contributes to a shortage of skilled labor.

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2. Low unemployment rate of skilled workers

While this is not necessarily negative, it is a reason why there is a shortage of skilled workers worldwide. Currently, the number of unemployed high-skilled workers and medium-skilled workers is low. Statistics from the US indicated that in 2017, the country’s unemployment rate went down to about 4.1%. It translated to a shortage of skilled workers as most already held positions in their areas of expertise.

Such realities leave very few skilled employees to fill the unoccupied roles. As a result, employers might have to work with semi-skilled personnel who exhibit the potential to become good at that job.

3. An increased push for the elimination of trade schools

Trade schools are vocational training colleges where students are taught specific skills and knowledge for niche jobs. Some decades ago, vocational training was top-rated and appreciated, especially in the United States. Currently, there has been a trend of schools eradicating vocational training. Today, there are fewer vocational schools since fewer students are enrolling.

Instead, institutions push teenagers and pre-teens to pursue higher education in colleges and universities. It has directly resulted in the number of young people skilled in perceived ‘blue collar’ vocations being relatively low and the majority being knowledgeable in professional fields like medicine, marketing, and accounting.

4. The sale of family businesses

Most businesses that require skilled labor, for instance, landscaping and contracting companies, are family-owned. Many of these have been in the same families for more than one generation. In the past, businesses owned by families were such that every member felt obliged to be around and ensure that they remained profitable and running.

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It meant that family members had to be trained so they had adequate skills for the job and kept the business in the family. Nowadays, millennials and Gen-Zs want to explore different paths and pursue their dreams. This deflection from traditional family businesses and vocational jobs has contributed to a shortage of skilled labor.

5. Using IQ tests to gauge job compatibility

Employers sometimes use personality and IQ tests when employing skilled workers for specific jobs. These tests may often be a driving force behind their failure to find the right person for the job. Firstly, all these tests discourage potential employees because they are typically time-intensive.

Potential employees are inclined to answer questions not based on their opinion but more as an attempt to please the interviewee. More importantly, these tests might fail to accurately reflect the experience and skills of the individual being vetted for the job.

6. An aging skilled workforce

Going hand in hand with the push to eliminate trade schools is an aging skilled workforce. The days when vocational training was crucial for most economies and was embraced by school curricula are long gone. Since the current generation has moved away from vocational careers, there are fewer skilled workers.

Consequently, the older generations form a larger percentage of skilled employees. Since people in this job market were trained long ago, it means that when they are too old to work, they will not have a replacement. There are more skilled workers retiring than there are younger workers replacing them.

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These are a few reasons why there is an increasing shortage of skilled workers worldwide. Contrary to what most may believe, vocational jobs are still lucrative and very marketable today. Since there are less skilled employees, there are greater job opportunities for those willing to learn the trades. Understanding each of these points provides a start to finding a solution to this growing issue.