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Rethinking the “Skills Gap”

March 2, 2012

As with all issues, buzz terms have dominated discussions at all levels of the conversation. One such term that has become synonymous with the time is “skills gap”.

While I am not arguing there is not a skill labor shortage, I am not sure we even understand what is trying to be said with these terms. So, lets define it:

skilled labor (noun)

1. labor that requires special training for its satisfactory performance.
2. the workers employed in such labor.

Now that we know what we are trying to say, what are we saying? The focus of course in the recent dialogues has been on manufacturing skilled labor and the profound shortages of workforce in these areas. Indeed, “shovel ready” jobs aside, people need to know how to do those jobs or they will not get done, “shovel ready” or not.
However, lets pull out one of the other issues I feel we’re not addressing, perception.
Using the above definition, EVERY job is skill based. From dentists to welders, from artists to astronauts, all require skill sets, yet, we only assume we’re discussing this in terms of a narrow view point. I believe it is now time to broaden this approach.
Recently, Mike Rowe, of Discovery Channels “Dirty Jobs” spoke to this issue before a panel of politico’s. I invite you to watch and consider.
Categories: Uncategorized
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