White Paper: Bridging the Workforce Skills Gap

Our first white paper of the year, Bridging the Workforce Skills Gap, is now available. View the full paper, or enjoy a preview below.


Tale as Old as Industrial Time

 High-tech disruptors in the workforce are nothing new. In fact, this tale is as old as the industrial revolution, when economists predicted that innovations like sawmills and automobiles were sure to leave everyone from manual laborers to wagon drivers unemployed.

Today, some pundits continue to make a similar argument, predicting that a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics are poised to put blue and white collar workers alike out of work. Indeed, the arc of innovation has always been characterized by a march toward more and more mechanization. But, historically, rather than killing off employment opportunities as feared, technological innovations have, instead, proven to be massive job creators.

This, however, doesn’t mean that AI and advanced robotics won’t dramatically change the employment landscape. It is true that certain jobs will die out as better technologies emerge. In the case of the wagon drivers, for example, the economists were correct – they did lose their jobs. But just think of the massive number of jobs that automotive technologies have created to replace those that were lost. There the more obvious examples, such as vehicle manufacturing, car dealerships, professional drivers, automotive repair shops, and part replacement manufacturers. But, there has also been an emergence of tangentially-related industries that likely wouldn’t exist without cars, including highway construction, e-retailers, delivery services, suburban construction, fast food outlets, and gas stations.

The creation of new lines of work leave employers and employees alike with new challenges – the need to fill jobs quickly in brand-new fields in which few applicants possess the requisite experience. Advances are happening so quickly that many students now studying will enter the workforce in jobs that don’t yet exist today.

The disconnect that occurs when there are more jobs available on the market than there are qualified workers to fill them is known as the workforce skills gap. These unfilled positions result in lower productivity and lost profitability.

To quickly fill jobs in new and evolving fields, you must amplify your workforce learning and development programs. By training in-house, you can stay more agile and be better able to shift employees into new positions as the need emerges.

Here, we will examine current and future skills gaps in three fields: manufacturing, architecture, and the creative arts. Then, we will analyze the costs associated with the workforce skills gap and propose training and engagement solutions to help employers identify talent and develop employees in these fields.

The full white paper is available here.


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