Of course, even in our "improving" economy, it doesn't take long to look at the classified adds within the skilled trades to see the problem.
Blame Employers, Not Workers, for Any Skills Gap, Economist Says
Josh Zembrum, Wall Street Journal, 18 August 2014 (hat tip: NC)
And you have the Wall Street Journal, of all folks, pointing it out.Much of the evidence in support of a skills gap could be explained by employers who are no longer willing to train their employees or raise salaries, and instead want to be able to hire people with exactly the right skills–and on the cheap. Mr. Cappelli points to data showing apprenticeship programs are being abandoned. The number of apprentice programs registered with the Department of Labor declined to 21,000 in 2012 from 33,000 in 2002, and the number of apprentices has plunged from 280,000 from 500,000 a decade ago. If employers really faced a damaging shortage of workers, this would be an odd time to abandon programs to train employees.
The abandonment of the is probably in part due to a more amorphous course-by-course approach that you see a lot these days. But that is not a particularly good approach to use when you are trying to get folks onto a career path.
I have been looking at the more electronic-tcp/ip side of the electrical business. The skill set seems very thin on the ground with tradesman, but you don't see anyone hiring much of anything outside of fully skilled folks, and then at wages that are way under the comparable for the rather similar IT folks.