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Apprenticeship | Skills Gap in Advanced Manufacturing

Too many American workers lack the specialized skills needed to secure a job, but they can’t gain those skills without a job. This catch-22 has enveloped American employers and job seekers. Even though the unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent in September, about 600,000 jobs remain unfilled “due to a lack of qualified candidates,” according to a Deloitte study. The demand for skilled workers has now exceeded the number of workers with desired skills, creating what’s called structural unemployment.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in manufacturing, where workers gain skills primarily on the job. Fifty-six percent of manufacturers say the shortage of available workers will worsen in the next three to five years. So what can employers do to find the talent they need? If manufacturers are willing to be proactive in developing their workforce, one of the best solutions is an apprenticeship.

Americans are probably most familiar with apprenticeships for carpenters, electricians, metalsmiths, and other trades. But abroad, apprenticeships exist for skilled jobs in a variety of fields, including high-tech manufacturing. These apprenticeships close the loop on structural unemployment by recruiting inexperienced workers — sometimes when they’re as young as 15 — to a job in which they learn the skills they’ll need for a successful long-term career…

via Linda Mayer: Invest in Advanced Manufacturing — Building the Right Skills.

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