The Skills Gap

skills-gapWe specialize in Indramat servo motors, drives, and controls. Usually, new clients find us when they open a cabinet and find a component that says “Indramat” on it. It’s often older than the engineer on the floor, and since it has never broken down before, nobody knows how to troubleshoot it.

If you ever find yourself in that situation, you can just call (479) 274-8422 and get immediate assistance.

Okay, so that’s a situation in which special skills and knowledge may be needed. But there is a bit of a controversy right now in manufacturing about whether there is, in general, a skills gap that keeps American manufacturing companies from being able to fill jobs with American workers.

Sarah Webster wrote about it recently in The Huffington Post. Webster referenced the study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, both highly regarded, which found that about 5% of U.S. Manufacturing jobs go unfilled because there are no qualified workers. That’s 600,000 jobs.

She also mentioned a report by the Boston Consulting Group, which disagreed. They checked to see whether manufacturers were raising wages to tempt skilled workers away from their current jobs, or hiring trainees. They decided that manufacturers just aren’t willing to pay the wages needed to get skilled American workers. That’s not a skills gap or a labor shortage, they said, “that’s a different issue.”

We’re hearing the skills gap discussed everywhere, in education as well as in workplaces, and it doesn’t sound like “It’s hard to get good help.”

This question is important. Today Bloomberg Businessweek quoted Stanley Litow  as saying, “I think what we’ve got is a skills crisis and not a jobs crisis.” An hour or so earlier, Marketplace Economy reported that the skills gap is a global phenomenon, citing a McKinsey & Company report that came out this morning.

If a skills crisis is what we have, trying to solve a jobs crisis won’t help.

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Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance

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