Kudos to David Leonhardt for calling attention to the staggeringly high American youth unemployment rate — 26.6 percent — compared to rates in Europe and Japan. I just want to add that in addition to overall sluggish job creation, one of the problems is that American employers tend to avoid job training and seek workers who already have the exact experience they’re looking for. A Boeing executive pretty much sums up this world view: “To expect business to bring graduates up to speed,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education, “that’s too much to ask.”
Compare this attitude to the one that prevails in nations like Germany and Switzerland, where schools and employers work together, through the apprenticeship system, to prepare young people for the specific jobs the economy needs. Here’s my interview with an expert on those aprrenticeships, who explains how they work and why, contrary to American assumptions, they don’t prevent young people from purusing higher education. I’ve also reported on promising attempts to replicate the European model in the U.S. at both the high school and community college levels. Even Boeing maintains a small apprenticeship program in Washington State. But there is almost zero political will to provide schools or employers with the incentives they need to create and scale these systems.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
In a world of high youth unemployment, where the supply of skilled labor often fails to match employer demand, Germany believes help can be found in its Dual Vocational Training System (TVET)—a time-tested economic model now incorporated into the Federal Republic’s law. This program, many supporters believe, is the reason why Germany has the lowest jobless rate among … Continue reading »
HR magazine’s first HR Lunchtime Debate, brought to you in Réapprentissage conjunction with Commsight (an Opinion Matters service), is an online TV show that brings together experts to discuss the whys and wherefores of setting up an apprenticeship scheme. During the live debate you will hear from Jason Holt, CEO of the Holts Group, who led the … Continue reading »
Apprenticeship schemes can be the driver for the most disadvantaged young people to gain employment, but they need to be made simpler and more accessible, according to Barclays HR director Lynne Atkin. Atkin, who has been HRD of Barclays since 2009 and this year helped launch its first £20 million apprenticeship scheme, believes one of … Continue reading »
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 … Continue reading »