Magazine article HRMagazine

Close the Global Skills Gap

Magazine article HRMagazine

Close the Global Skills Gap

Article excerpt

Recently, the Mexican HR association asked me to write an article about a key global challenge facing the human resource profession. First to my mind was the looming crisis facing the HR profession and the global business community-the skills gap.

Business leaders around the globe continue to express the growing difficulty they are experiencing in identifying qualified candidates for most skilled positions. According to a study by Manpower Group Inc., the percentage of companies with unfilled positions ranges from a high of 81 percent in Japan, to a low of 23 percent in China. In the United States, 49 percent of companies continue to have unfilled jobs, despite a stubbornly high unemployment rate.

There are millions of workers who want and need jobs. But the HR profession knows better than anyone that companies everywhere are having trouble filling open positions because of a shortage of talent.

The problem will grow. The McKinsey Global Institute projects that by 2020 there will be a worldwide shortage of 40 million college-educated workers, and an unmet need for 45 million workers with secondary school educations.

In my article for La Asociación Mexicana en Dirección de Recursos Humanos, I recommended that the global HR profession approach this challenge with a five-step plan:

Align public policy with solutions. Governments must have clarity on the skills required and implement the education and training to build those skills at home. And they must welcome talent from across borders.

Leverage public-private partnerships on vocational education. Governments have to bring together businesses and educational institutions to design courses that meet local workforce needs. …

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