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Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

Posted July 26, 2011 11:58 AM

Some reports are saying that skilled manufacturing workers needed to continue recovery out of The Recession are in short supply. Based on the experience of your organization, is this a valid statement?

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#1

Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/26/2011 10:42 PM

No, skilled workers are not in short supply. Skilled workers who are willing to work for the peanuts that they are offering for wages, are in short supply.

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#2

Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/26/2011 10:44 PM

Yes.

There are plenty of underemployed college graduates with degrees in the soft subjects available. But nobody who can pass a simple math test, has actually changed the oil or packed the wheel bearings in their own car, let alone read a micrometer.

The lack of preparation for careers in advanced manufacturing in the US is STAGGERING.

Milo

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 12:11 AM

Many skilled workers,failed in theory papers in schools,leant the skill by working with experienced mechanics,welders,electricians,plumbers,fitters etc and earned their living by working alone or with an assistant instead of working in any organisation.

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#4
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Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 3:40 AM

In many countries there is indeed a shortage of skilled, experienced artisans and professional engineers. The reasons for this may vary from country to country. I will not go into this in detail. It may be the case that there are some graduates that are not in jobs. Problem appears that they often do not have the experience and worse still, often the lack of opportunities to gain that experience. Some also say that the standards have dropped somewhat in recent years.

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#9
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Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/28/2011 9:46 AM

The word here is 'skilled' to change the oil or grease the wheelbearings, you must be shown and so many come out of school and programs with a peice of paper only and this denotes a 'skill', with no human ties to the work place and cannot adapt to the problems that truly exist in getting the jobs done, bad copper, degraded lumber, low voltage, crooked walls and on and on and on. The organized professional work force is brought through apprenticeships to skilled job performance and so many of these apprentice prgrams have been lost due to the cost of operating them. The poor individual who wants to learn cannot work for a skilled electrician, welder, mechanic at a wage they can afford to pay while the learner picks up part of the load of making a profit for the individual Skilled 'whatever'..The older Skilled person is having to pick up twice the load at the same pay in or out of an organization. Anything said is not worth a dime with out a solutuon. It is my idea that we need to think 'workforce' begining in the 3rd grade and hav young people ready to go out on a job, or create their own by the time they enter Highschool, truly let the ones excel that choose to, but let them all be ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor..

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#5

Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 7:07 AM

Yes

We are currently graduating 30-40 students instead of 60-80 as in years past from our university machining program. There are over 200 jobs posted on the bulletin board. The quality of high school students entering our program has dropped over the past few years along with enrollment. We had thought that the problem was in the high school education and the mind set of the new generation. We are finding out that the better students that we used to get are in fact being hired right out of high school.

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#6
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Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 7:31 AM

Interesting that you observe similar trends in the USA. First question : Is this common throughout the USA? 2nd is : Is the skills problem & education problem part of a world wide trend?

One may look at the kinds of factors reported by others wrt global trends. I have seen factors mentioned by other people [not my own observations] :

- More young people opt for IT jobs.
- A drop in support and funding in Sci & tech since the cold war ended.

- Countries like Germany, Japan somehow have a smaller pool of young people to choose from - where the population split is top-heavy.

- Changes in attitudes to learning.

- Could be that the quality or quantity of teachers have dropped in last decade?

- Yet other countries such as SA experienced a sudden and drastic increase in their student numbers, following opening of the education system to all. While teacher numbers and quality have either remained the same or have dropped.

- Not sure how it is these days to be in school as I was in high school the 1970's.

- clearly if the education level at high-school has dropped then the intake into college or university will suffer greatly.

Please do respond : Is the above close to your experiences & observation?

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#7
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Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 10:22 AM

I can't speak for the rest of the country. In our area it has always been a struggle to get high school guidance counselors on board with the industrial arts. They perceive machining as dirty work and as such a dirty word. The fact is a 2 year degree in machining can get you a better income than many 4 year degrees. Add in overtime and it only gets better. Even with the economy in a slump over the past few years all of our grads had work if they wanted it.

I do not have any facts to support the trend to IT jobs but I have heard similar stories. The hype in the media sure makes it sound good. Make a few hundred thou a year designing / playing video games versus 8 to 10 hour shift work for 10 to 15 an hour to start.

I agree there is a change in the quality in education. As the teachers we had in school retire they are replaced by a less experienced work force. They are thrown into a work environment polluted with the children of the entitlement generation. If they can't teach everyone to the set standards then school funding is threatened. Therefore everyone must pass. We see this at the college level as well. One student had the balls to tell his teacher last year he did not have to take notes because he has a learning disorder. The teacher replied that is the very reason you should be taking notes. Since you choose not to take notes might be a good reason you are failing the class. In the end it is seen as the teachers fault if the student does not pass. After all, it is the teachers job to reach every student and make learning fun.

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#8

Re: Skilled Workers in Short Supply?

07/27/2011 12:33 PM

Here in the UK there is a great need for skilled manufacturing workers, because for the last 30 years they have forgotten to train such workers, then there is the problem of those who were trained who have gone abroad for a job, because they pay better wages and with better conditions.

This is the reason why here in the UK, the bosses of manufacuring workers and others have imported skilled workers from Poland and other east European countries, they will work for much less than their British counterparts.

Both of these situations are causing great problems, and I cannot see it getting any better very soon, while India and China are on the way up!

Spencer.

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