Human capital or workforce is the greatest strength any country can possess. Why then is the Workforce a critical issue in many countries? Studies reveal that nowadays there are more jobs to offer to people than people to take them.
Which are the reasons causing this mismatch?
· Workforce participation went down significantly through 20 years –in the growth again in these last years.
· There is a gap between Education and the need for a modern skilled-worker with the credentials required now in this global market.
· Digitalisation is disrupting many businesses, leaving behind significant sectors of workers.
· Some local people are not willing to work, making it necessary to bring people from other countries.
· The number of people who cannot pass a drug test is on the rise; as a result, they lose their jobs.
· Immigration policies for part-time workers or the opportunity to work as residents are not explicitly regulated.
Let’s explain the difference between both gaps:
People Gap referred to “too many businesses can’t find the workers they need to fill the job at a given time and a given place. Skill Gap talks about people lacking specific skills required for this modern world and the way enterprises are doing business today," preventing our nations from leveraging their talent and people, and from revitalising their potential.
The ideal scenario would be a Workforce growing parallel to job offers. Some regulations have to be modified to accomplish this, such as to find a way to diminish unemployment, create new jobs, a clear translation of business needs and educational offers, and pay better salaries to drive higher productivity to our countries; and above all, a long pipeline of talented people.
Both, skill gap and people gap are by all means business-community concern. Why? Enterprises have the motivation to drive change because of their need to compete in the 21st-century marketplace.
Some approaches for tackling both gaps
Education and Workforce gap has to be a national approach to guarantee economic growth while bringing benefit to all citizens.
One-first step to close the skills gap is improving Education. Responsibility in schools, more options for families paying tuitions, and close group effort with involved parties, can significantly advance K12 education (from kindergarten through the 12th grade before college. )
The objective is that every student graduating from high-school be prepared to take over the next step in a college, a university or whatever career he/she chooses, having in mind that education or training is a billion investment for the future. All those involved in education must take for granted the quality of what is being taught, focusing on the significant value it represents to the economy of their communities.
Businesses play an important role when working with local educational institutions to ensure that curriculums teach in-demand skills; you can do it through a talent pool and innovative tools to keep workers updated and competitive as well, so to find solutions to their processes by offering talented students internships, scholarships, a mentor or position in the company.
There's also a need to implement strategies that could bring together government, local leaders, the Industry, and companies, to build a constant pipeline of talented people to fill possible jobs in any organisation.
People gap, how to overcome it?
Governments have to take the first step to find an approach which pushes the Workforce development and in particular one that enhances the right skills to fulfil the roles of the future.
Considering that in many countries must children under five are enrolled in childcare institutions while both parents work, high-quality childcare is not a minor issue but one to ponder as first demand.
The amount of baby boomers looking for their retirement is on the rise leaving behind many available positions in the workforce. So, companies have to tackle these people gap by bringing about new workers.
The uncontrolled use of pain-killers or any other drugs, considered to cause addiction, triggers the deterioration in the labour force, particularly in the working-age-men segment.
In contrast, immigrants can fill gaps in our workforce, as they now represent a vital piece of many economies. Actions have to be taken toward an effective immigration system, which obeys the Law, whilst responding to the needs of our market demands.
Therefore, all governments, institutions, families, and businesses have to engage in taking actions to guarantee the quality-basic skills and abilities to meet the future challenges faced by the next generations regarding Education. A multiple-facet problem that requires us to address that shortage of Education and Workforce, by modernising, educating, and retraining programs.
Last comments: We must have a steady supply of talented and hardworking individuals. Therefore, we need fair-policy systems and opportunities in place plus the collaboration of governments, the external participation from educational centres, the industry, and the public in general.
Pursuing the same goal is a whole country issue. The closing of skills and people gaps strengthen our economies, while people and markets will continue to mature and become the advanced-competitive-productive businesses in which we all are engaged.
“THERE'S MUCH WORK TO DO AND NOT ENOUGH SKILLED PEOPLE TO DO IT.” That was the message U.S. Chamber President and CEO delivered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Forward event, 2018
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