High Unemployment and A Shortage Of Skills: Let’s Find A Solution

Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, remains high in many countries throughout Europe and around the world. Part-time work has increased and brought with it insecurity, low wages and a sense of anxiety for many people. Yet, at the same time demand from employers for people with the right skills has exploded and is predicted to grow.

The shortage of skills is not only threatening current jobs but future jobs and the growth of the economy, as employers look to other countries to find the people they need.

In the absence of action it is estimated that within Europe there will be a shortage of 700,000 IT people by 2015 and 500,000 engineers by 2025.

The starting point in addressing the problem is to raise the level of awareness of the shortages and for governments, employers and the education sector to work more closely together to find solutions.

One of the challenges when trying to reduce the levels of unemployment and fill the available jobs is that the jobs created often require new and different skills.

Even as the economy recovers and starts to grow again the type of jobs created may not reduce unemployment or part-time work for many people. But there are a number of things that can be done to improve the situation.

  • One, government can address the problem with new thinking and new actions that link the creation of jobs to reducing unemployment.
  • Two, the education sector can narrow the gap between what is taught and what should be taught to provide new skills by reducing the ‘time lag’ between curriculum development and delivery.
  • Three, employers can play a more active role and develop better ways to retrain and re-skill staff to avoid part-time working and redundancies.
  • Four, government, employers and the education sector can work more closely together with the understanding that the solutions of the past will not solve our current or future problems.

On a positive note, there are huge opportunities for the countries and companies that solve the issue, as demand for the right people with the right skills will continue to grow.

SO, high unemployment and a shortage of skills are causing significant problems and in the absence of new thinking and new actions both issues will get worse.

What about you?

What can be done to reduce unemployment and increase skills?

Look forward to seeing your comments below.