“It’s so nice to be fully staffed,” said no manager ever. Wouldn’t that be great, though? Can you imagine your workplace having all the highly skilled workers it needs to function efficiently and effectively, taking advantage of available opportunities and being proactive rather than reactive?
If there’s one thing that has plagued industries across the country and around the world the last several years, it’s an ongoing severe labor shortage. There simply aren’t enough skilled workers to fill all of the open positions. Or are there? Is it possible that unnecessary barriers to hiring are making a bad problem worse?
In a recent Fortune article, author Jane Thier notes that “[a]bout 75% of U.S. jobs paying more than $35,000 a year still require a college degree…despite the fact that just 38% of Americans are college grads.” Thier believes this “mismatch harms everyone—from the workers without degrees to companies who are struggling with scant staff possessing specialized skills.”
According to Lisa Gevelber, Google’s chief marketing officer for the Americas, “Two-thirds of Americans—about 70 million workers—are basically locked out of all the jobs in our country. Everyone’s looking for people with college degrees, but only about a third of Americans have one. And employers are looking for people with very specific kinds of skills, and they just can’t find enough of them.”
That’s why many organizations are embracing “the ‘skills-based hiring’ revolution, which is quickly catching fire across both governmental institutions and the private sector. The ethos of the approach is that the actual skills required to do a job are often teachable—easily within the first six weeks of a job—and that a college degree bears shockingly little relevance to technical ability. By this line of thinking, hiring exclusively college grads is a retrograde practice that hurts both businesses and their potential talent pool.”
Massachusetts recently gave skills-based hiring a huge boost, as Governor Maura Healey “signed an executive order to eliminate ‘unnecessary’ degree requirements from most state job listings.” Expressing “her hope that it would encourage the private sector to reevaluate its hiring approaches,” Governor Healey believes her “executive order ‘will not only expand our applicant pool, it will get us more talent. Over time, it will help us build a more inclusive, skilled workforce than ever before.’”
What does the executive order mean for hiring in Massachusetts? According to Thier, “no minimum education levels will be included in the listings of over 90% of state jobs at all” moving forward, and “hiring managers must pay attention to an applicant’s ‘full set of competencies’ beyond simply degree attainment.”
Massachusetts Lieutenant Gov. Kim Driscoll noted, “We have so many jobs across the state that need to be filled, and we have qualified, talented workers who want them. We just need to lower the barriers to entry, which is exactly what this executive order aims to do.”
As skills-based hiring becomes more popular, it is sure to have ripple effects that spread their way through higher education, from the college and university level down to high schools. Educators will need to adapt to a new generation of future workers who will seek to acquire a particular set of skills rather than a particular degree.
In many cases, the skills employers will be seeking will be those traditionally taught in career and technical education (CTE) programs. Schools desiring to take their CTE offerings to the next level will need to find a training partner with experience in developing training systems that combine comprehensive curriculum with training equipment that gives students hands-on experience with real industrial components they’ll encounter on the job.
Fortunately, schools will not need to reinvent the wheel. Amatrol has been developing training systems for education and industry for more than thirty years. Amatrol’s unique combination of engaging eLearning with hands-on training equipment that provides students with real-life experience remains unmatched in the training marketplace.
Visit Amatrol online to learn more about its many different types of training programs. For more information about how Amatrol can help you inspire and train the next generation of workers, contact an expert at Amatrol today!