27 November 2011

Manpower Shortage Acute in Skilled Industries: Help Wanted!

"There's a tremendous shortage of skilled workers," said Craig Giffi, a vice chairman of the consulting firm Deloitte. A recent survey it did found that 83% of manufacturers reported a moderate or severe shortage of skilled production workers to hire.

Pay levels provide evidence. While hourly wages in the broad category of maintenance and repair workers rose 6.4% from 2007 to 2010, increases were 10% in the subcategory of heavy-vehicle mechanics and 15% for specialists in electrical repairs on commercial and industrial equipment. The implication is that employers were competing for a limited pool of qualified workers.
The Deloitte study found that 74% of manufacturers said a shortage of skilled production workers had a "significant negative impact" on either their productivity or expansion plans. _WSJ_FoxNews
The shortage of skilled workers extends virtually around the globe.
More than half of U.S. employers report having a hard time finding people to fill some of their most critical positions. Quite a few countries around the world are experiencing the same problem, according to a global survey by international employment agency, ManpowerGroup.

... According to this year’s ManpowerGroup survey of 39 countries, 34 percent of employers worldwide say they have trouble finding qualified workers. While 52% percent of U.S. employers have the same problem filling critical positions, Japan, India and Brazil have the most difficult time.

...The hardest jobs to fill are technicians, skilled trades, sales representatives that require highly technical knowledge.

Jatan Shah, Chief Technology Office of QSC Audio says his company has been expanding and hiring. But he says finding the right worker for positions from engineers to plant workers has been a challenge. “It takes anywhere from three months to a year to fill certain positions.

New Zealand is hiring -- and has to travel overseas to find qualified workers in many areas.

University graduates in a wide range of subjects, simply lack practical skills for the modern workplace. Industries must invest a great deal of money in training new hires, and it is not clear that the aggravation of training and the risk of lawsuits by female and minority employees will ever be compensated by productivity -- particularly from graduates of women's studies, ethnic studies, or third world underwater matriarchal basketweaving cultural studies.

The "feminisation" -- or dumbing down -- of many formerly rigorous university studies programs has left employers doubtful of the quality of new college graduates.

Even India finds that its industries must spend a great deal of money training fresh hires driectly out of school:
Most Indian IT firms also have to invest significant amount in training freshers to get them job ready.

At Infosys for one, freshers go through an average of 3-6 months of training before becoming billable....Companies invest heavily on training and upgrading talent. _TOI

So, the problem is seen in both the high paying skilled blue collar sectors, and in the technical college educated sectors. And employers are feeling the pain, and having to cut back on established lines as well as cancelling other projects which they could have embarked upon -- if only they had the skilled workers.

This shortage of skills -- a human capital shortage, really -- is adding a negative impact to the already dire situations of western nations coming from unwise policies of debt, demography, bureaucratic overreach, and energy starvation. Trickle down revolutions are already ongoing in some nations of the middle east, but expect trickle down insurrections to work their way toward Europe's periphery.

Of course you can only take care of you and yours, in the end. Focus on that goal first and foremost. Maximise your own human capital, and that of those closest to you.

This article has been expanded to focus on peak manpower skills in the energy sector at Al Fin Energy blog.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This "dumbing down" will eventually feed through into secondary and college education. When the next tenured generation there is inept, they will then perpetuate the problem - a boon to a new class of people who rely on self-teeaching maybe.

Sunday, 27 November, 2011  
Blogger Borepatch said...

The "correction" that will be applied to the Universities by the taxpaying public will be brutal. The longer this correction is put off, the more brutal it will be.

Sunday, 27 November, 2011  
Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

Wait 'til next decade as developed nations' aging demographics shifts up a gear.

Also, if you think the US housing market is tepid, wait 'til you see old Baby Boomers sell their homes en masse to raise needed cash.

BTW - the Chinese housing dump is beginning. 33 out of 70 monitored cities are seeing price drops; real estate agents (which in places like Shanghai, you could find more of in some neighborhoods than other businesses) are dropping like flies in Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai; New Ordos got stabbed with a near 70% price drop. We're about to see her, Europe and the US drag everyone down the rabbit hole...! =)

Boy, the Chinese who bought new flats are going to be pissed when they learn their princely investment goes to seed in several to a few years. Sort of like parking RMB in $80,000 BMWs that die after 1 year. The state of US infrastructure is dire (the average US bridge is considered 7 years away from the end of its useful life); why isn't anyone talking the coming plague of deteriorating Chinese flats, bridges and dams?

Monday, 28 November, 2011  
Blogger Matt M said...

Japan is facing an elderly population twice the percentage of the USA. Will their nation cease to function?

The reason the USA has a skilled worker shortage is because employers are being very, very picky. They want prospects to have experience with all 10 of their requirements - because companies are running so shorthanded they want someone who can immediately take on part of the work - without a ramp up time.

Wednesday, 07 December, 2011  

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