24 October 2010

Manpower Skills Shortages: Ongoing Loss of Human Capital

Worldwide, skilled trades positions are the hardest to fill, according to Manpower global 2010 Talent Shortage Survey of 35,000 employers across 36 countries and territories (PDF); in 31 countries they are among top 10 jobs that companies are having difficulty filling. Shortages of skilled workers are acute in many of the world’s biggest economies. In 15 countries, including the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Canada employers ranked skilled trades as their number one hiring challenge. In Poland employers are also struggling to find skilled trades workers, admitting since three years that they represent the 1st most difficult position to fill, as show the results of three consecutive editions of Manpower’s Talent Shortage Survey. _Source

Even if economic demand improved so as to require the building of significant new infrastructure, most nations lack the necessary manpower skills to rapidly ramp up construction, development, and production.
Australia is one of the countries feeling the strongest pinch, with a healthy mining sector and unemployment near 5%. But Germany is also coming to grips with a manpower shortage, exacerbated by a rapid demographic aging.
The US -- with it's perpetual ongoing Obama recession -- has far less current demand for skilled labour. Real US unemployment is well into the teens, with underemployment into the twenties. In Obama's US, the demand simply isn't there. But what if the economy were to revive itself by some miracle -- even under the Obama regime? Where would the skilled workers come from?

The US educational system has been a disastrous failure from the standpoint of training skilled workers in the crucial trades -- the foundations of an advanced high-tech infrastructure. By attempting to channel all students into a 4 year college track -- and neglecting the trades -- US schools have wasted the potential talent of generations of students. As the US educational establishment becomes further ossified under the control of a massive incestuous political machine involving public sector unions and ideologues at both the federal level and the university school of education level, any hope for salvaging the newer generations of prospective skilled work is slipping through the US' fingers.

As baby boomers retire, massive numbers of skilled workers will be lost to an infrastructure that is already suffering for lack of skills.

The problem is that the requirements for skilled jobs tend to change as the underlying technology changes. One cannot train for a skilled job and expect for the job to stay the same. In addition, the economics of domestic production or construction vs. outsourcing work is apt to change from year to year -- making it tougher for managers to plan their infrastructure into the future.

Under the Obama administration's distinctly anti-business regime, this planning task is made 10 X more difficult for managers than it needed to be. As a result, new projects are put on indefinite hold, and the economy goes into a long-term stasis.

Since industry training and industry-sponsored training provide a significant proportion of skilled workers, as industries down-size and postpone their new projects, the training of skilled workers also suffers.

All of these problems add up, so that when a more rational governmental regime finally falls into place, the nation at large has far fewer skills in place to take advantage of a new building phase, should it occur. The skills must be imported at a higher cost -- financially and socially.

In terms of peak oil or peak energy, it is actually peak manpower which should be feared the most. For as soon as the energy starvation regime of the Obamas, the Boxers, the Pelosis, the Salazars, and that ugly ilk is eliminated, the energy resources that have been there all along will still be there -- but will be less obtainable for the loss of skilled manpower that has occurred in the interim.

All-around skilled craftsmen and craftswomen are becoming more rare in the US -- although Canada, Australia, and some European nations are taking active steps to ameliorate the problem. As the world emerges from its carbon hysteria and peak energy fogs, it will be the nations that can solve the peak skills problem which will prosper.

As for all of those PhD's in queer ethnic studies and semiotic basket-weaving -- what are they doing now?


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Blogger fboness said...

My question for those seeking skilled techs and engineers is, "What did you do with the skilled people you had?"

They threw away all those skilled trades, techs, and engineers and for good measure stiffed them on their pensions.

Screw 'em. They look like brats complaining they have no toys when you know they broke their toys.

Sunday, 24 October, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

There is something wrong with this picture. If this were real, people with engineering or technical sales capability/experience ought to have their phones ringing off the hook from recruiters trying to place them. As far as I know, this is not occurring at all.

Sunday, 24 October, 2010  
Blogger Job Descriptions said...

Your statistic were simple superb. As of late i have seen this happening in many countries. Its very important that the world needs to have skilled teachers. I am from India and can say we really don't get skilled teacher in schools and colleges. We try learning ever thing from web!

Personal banker Job Description

Sunday, 24 October, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Take another look at the stats. The US is stuck, without demand. It is in Brazil and other countries where demand is highest.

Business is cyclic. Should the US get rid of its political dead-weight, public sector unions, and trial lawyers, that country may once again experience vigorous growth. If so, it will experience a surge of demand for skilled tradesmen and practical engineers. But it is likely the US will be forced to import them, by then.

You know the US is badly broken when everyone looks to corporations for employment, rather than thinking first of making their own way on their own merits. No one should willingly be someone else's toy.

Monday, 25 October, 2010  
Blogger kurt9 said...

In other words, it's a repeat of the early 90's.

Monday, 25 October, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

The early 90s are gone forever, Kurt. It's an entirely new generation of even more dumbed down kids, taught by even more dumbed down teachers. The US has added many trillions to the national debt, and outsourced millions more jobs overseas. Obama is president, running the country under Chicago-mob style rules. The US dollar is due for rapidly escalating de facto devaluation.

Try to build an economic recovery out of that -- and that was only the good news.

Monday, 25 October, 2010  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

In the mid-1940s, two very different societies on opposite sides of the world pulled themselves out of much worse holes, admittedly with the generous help of the US. Germany & Japan had mis-educated young people and destroyed industrial bases. They came back.

The West, not just the US, is on the wrong course. For Europe, the only question is whether Mother Russia or Islam will rule over the remains. But the US has a chance to recover, once the Best & Brightest have run the country into the ditch and had their inevitable rope & lamp-post meeting. The story is not over yet -- although we are definitely headed for "Ruff Times".

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010  
Blogger Geoff Matthews said...

"As for all of those PhD's in queer ethnic studies and semiotic basket-weaving -- what are they doing now?"

Hopefully, they're teaching in China.

Wednesday, 10 November, 2010  

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