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Speaking of Precision

Speaking of Precision is a knowledge preservation and thought leadership blog covering the precision machining industry, its materials and services. With over 36 years of hands on experience in steelmaking, manufacturing, quality, and management, Miles Free (Milo) Director of Industry Research and Technology at PMPA helps answer "How?" "With what?" and occasionally "Really?"

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Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

Posted April 09, 2013 12:00 AM by Milo

We have been working on the skills gap issue for a couple of years.

This infographic from MSN careers shows that the issue of finding skilled workers is a global, not just U.S. and Canada problem.

Precision Machining openings are begging across the country- and were even at the peak of the 2009 Recession. Demographics are going to make finding skilled machinists an even more urgent management imperative.

Skills Gap Graphic

Editor's Note: CR4 would like to thank Milo for sharing this blog entry, which originally appeared here.

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#1

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/09/2013 2:28 PM

Could it be that young people today are looking for easier ways to earn a living? I'm sure one factor is; not being exposed to the machinist trade. 60+ years ago, it might have been considered news, but today it doesn't get a mention outside of the trade journals. Have you noticed the trade journals, like American Machinist are a lot thinner that in the past? But I think exposure is the biggest factor. Let me explain.

Take music for example. We hear mostly today's music, not classical or big band sounds of the 50's. Young people today may never have heard Benny Goodman or knew what he was famous for. The reason is today's youth have not been exposed to it, so they don't know that there is another music available. The Beatles are not that far back, but still you will find young people who have never heard of them. I find that if someone is exposed to something different, they have the opportunity to either like or not like it. I'm guessing it's the music industry that supresses one genre and promotes another for the sake of profit.

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#6
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Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/10/2013 3:59 AM

Ronseto, I agree with you that there is a higher prevalence in young people today, to try and earn money in a quicker and easier manner. Just look at what they're exposed too, sports men/women, popstars/filmstars, bankers/stocks & Shares, Solicitors/Accountant & Doctors and of course the biggest grave train of them all Government/Politics. The majority of these so called professional areas of employment have seen much higher wage rises in relation to the average skilled worker (higher than the rate of inflation, I would suspect).

The companies who are now moaning about the skills shortage, have only got themselves to blame. As they relentlessly strive to force costs down (wages) and, in this endevour have looked to countries with cheaper employment (The good old Capitalist way). So why now should a young person make the decision to invest (through education) in a career future, that is so fickle (give it another 30 years and the cycle will repeat itself) and, find themselve in the twilight of their career looking down the barrel of the redundancy gun. Facing the prospect of not regaining employment (due to ageism) and, no way of funding their pension, to secure a comfortable retirement. Oh I forgot they don't won't us to retire, as it's to costly and, they don't won't to employ us either.

I would never encourage my children to follow my career path as an engineer, even though I regard it as a highly respectable career. The sacrifices out way the rewards. Maybe this is why there are certain groups in society that will forcibly guide their children into only one of the so called professional areas of employment, I mentioned earlier.

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#2

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/09/2013 10:11 PM

Between 1971 and 2007, real hourly wages in the US rose by only 4 percent. (That's not 4 percent a year, but 4 percent over 36 years!) During those same decades, productivity essentially doubled, increasing by 99 percent. In other words, the average worker's productivity rose 25 times more than his or her pay.

Maybe they are just smarter than we were.

Source:http://www.thenation.com/article/173727/how-40-year-long-recession-led-great-recession#

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#3

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/10/2013 12:12 AM

Maybe skilled wages would fix that problem.

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#4

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/10/2013 1:38 AM

Skilled workers go in search of jobs with higher pay because the doors of the world are open unlike olden days. In some countries they get nearly 10 times the pay in home country as well as they get acquinted with new tools,equipment,technology not found in their home land. When they return home, many bring hand/power tools from abroad & start working on contract for each piece of job instead of monthly pay by employer. Some open shops & start doing trading. As a result there is an acute shortage of skilled personnel. State should increase intake to vocational training centers/technical schools.

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#5

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/10/2013 3:25 AM

In the UK it was the policies of people like Margaret Thatcher* who shifted the emphasis from manufacturing and heavy industry towards the financial and service sectors.
I think we are still feeling the effects.
It was only the fact that North Sea oil and gas came on line that allowed her to decimate the heavy industries. The effects of this are still very evident in the North and Wales. She created an underclass uf unemployed who are now being scapegoated as being the cause of the UKs financial woes.
Yes she was a great leader and has a place in history as the UKs first woman prime minister.
She also had the huge personal popularity boost of taking us into a small but winnable war (unlike the odious Tony Blair who tried to mimic her success on the coat tails of GWB).
I dare say many will not care for this synopsis, but I assure you there is a good deal of truth in it.
Del

* The recent death of this devisive leader was mourned in some regions of the UK and celebrated in others

Admin:-Sorry if this is too political for this forum, feel free to delete it if you feel it's inappropriate.

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Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/13/2013 4:49 AM

Ya know, there still are people in this world that really would like to bring back the "good old days" of the landed lord and the serf.

Maggie was a real self-serving cunt... "Uh, God save the Queen."

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#7

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/12/2013 5:33 PM

Our colleges and universities are not graduating enough U.S. citizens with strong science degrees, computer science or otherwise. Graduates with the right kinds of backgrounds for data scientist - computer science, statistics, machine learning - are coming out of the universities, but they are not coming out in sufficient numbers. As a result, firms are struggling to hire full-time or contract staff for IT and engineering positions. In working with IT staffing agencies, I know it's important to know their true professional goals. Help them achieve their growth goals and help them establish a career growth path.

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Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/13/2013 12:10 PM

Their true professional goal is to make the most money with the least amount of effort.

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#10

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/13/2013 1:40 PM

Scientists, engineers and technicians are usually pragmatic people. So they analyze everything, including career paths. Unfortunately, STEM career paths in much of the industrialized world have not looked enticing. Remember, kids who are equipped to enter a STEM career are definitely not stupid.

Many kids follow in their parents footsteps, or at least notice their parents' situations. For decades they've noticed their parents unhappy with pay and hours and stability and manager expectations. They've seen their parents get laid off, and they've seen older friends graduate without jobs. They read the unrealistic job advertisements. They hear about managers and owners getting the big money while technicians sweat. They see that society still calls STEM workers nerds. They hear about grads with big college debt.

The media blasts them with easier and faster ways to make more money. Those careers may be unrealistic or only obtainable by a very few, but the constant hyping is seductive. Many of them have been allowed to spend too much time in fantasy worlds, playing games instead of doing physical work, so they don't relate to getting their hands dirty.

I've heard cries of a technical skills shortage since the 1980s. If it were true then we wouldn't have today's age discrimination. Those cries come mostly from colleges (who sell STEM degrees) and executives who want to sound like they are progressive (even though their actions prove they're not). The only lucrative STEM career is as an entrepreneur. But few STEM people have the means and temperament for that.

If we are going to correct the alleged technical skills shortage, we have to make STEM an enticing career again. New STEM graduates must have job opportunities that are not exploitive and will last for a whole working lifetime. Otherwise it's just noise.

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#11

Re: Skills Gap Is Global Not Just North American Issue

04/14/2013 3:00 PM

Planned man power development is very well there in all curriculum and universities.

But the real problems leading to such a situation could be the following.

1] People think of their own choice of field than risking with new fields.

2] Those who do core engineering leave to speculative, high salary yield non core professions.

3] In industries there is no systematic grooming of technocrats or skilled forces. People keep moving for better salaries & land up as useless one day.

4] Business organizations have limited out look of man power development, based on short term goals & trends. There is a false belief that, additional skills taught to employees will be a waste in case he leaves.

5] The main issue is the hesitation part of older generations that, if they train their next line people talent ful, their position may become obsolete and try to pull on with their importance show.

6]Organizations & people have no long term binding, the human relations part in organizations, as well well as stagnation faced by innovative employees.

7] The curriculum defect of specialized degrees in stead of al round caliber.

8] Mushrooming Institutions without talented faculties, as well as least importance given to practical work.

9] The record writing works in many Institutions kill students' practical learning hours.Lack of field work out side the campus is again a barrier.

10] Getting, stabilizing, satisfying , extracting long term service contributions from employees have become a tough H.R job now a days.

11] Tendency of people for easy going & lucrative jobs than risky prone hardship based work services.

12] Imbalanement between various sectors of the Industry.

13] Fast changing technology trends & lack of fast adaptability by people.

14] Building up costs of education, higher studies & specialization.

15] future trend may be a sort of compulsory military training like thing in man power development- say compulsory no of persons discipline wise.

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