Tag Archives: Training

The Costly Zero Sum Game That’s Fueling The Skills Gap

By Jake Schwartz – Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates suggest, for example, that there will be 1 million more computing jobs than applicants to fill them by 2020.

Of course, the skills gap is about more than just supply and demand. It stems from what economists call “friction,” exacerbated by megatrends like the shrinking shelf life of skills and persistent equity gaps in K-12 and higher education systems struggling to keep up with the pace of change. But it also reflects decades of self-inflicted wounds within corporate America.

I’ve observed three troubling drivers of the economic friction fueling the skills gap:

  1. a surprising lack of visibility and long-term planning around concrete skill and talent needs within the enterprise;
  2. incredible inertia around and adherence to old-school hiring practices that perpetuate growing equity gaps through a search for new skills in conventional places; and
  3. a tendency to misplace hope that our higher education and workforce development systems can somehow “solve” the problem with minimal corporate involvement or responsibility.

Imagine the possibilities if just a fraction of that spending was allocated to investments in re-skilling existing workers.

And yet, corporate training fads, from an obsession with online training (it’s cheaper), to a belief that all employees should spend their off-hours being “self-guided learners,” only exacerbate the delta between average investments in talent acquisition ($20,000 to $40,000 per head) and corporate training ($1,000 per person per year). more>

The geography of desperation in America

By Carol Graham, Sergio Pinto, and John Juneau II – America today is as divided as it has ever been, in terms of incomes and opportunities, politics, and, perhaps most importantly, hopes and dreams.

Hope matters.

As our earlier work shows, individuals who do not believe in their futures are much less likely to invest in them—as in education, health, and job training. This increases the odds of America becoming even more unequal in the future. These divisions are corrosive to our society, our polity, our civic discourse, and to our health.

There are high costs to falling behind—and losing hope—in a very wealthy society that prides itself on being a meritocracy (even though the reality is far from the reputation). The starkest marker of these costs is the increase in premature mortality among significant sectors of our society—due to preventable deaths such as suicide, opioid, and other drug overdoses, and heart, liver, and lung diseases.

These deaths are most prevalent among uneducated middle-aged whites in rural areas, but the latest (2015) data show increased prevalence across a wider range of ages, races, and places. more> https://goo.gl/a3478E

Will robots make job training (and workers) obsolete?

By Harry J. Holzer – Automation eliminates the number of workers needed per unit of good or service produced. By reducing unit costs it raises productivity and, in a competitive market, product prices should decline. All else equal, this will raise consumer demand for the good or service in question.

Whether or not this rise in product demand is sufficiently large to raise overall employment for the product depends on whether the fall in workers needed per unit of production is proportionately lesser or greater than the rise in the numbers of units demanded; if lesser, than product demand will rise.

Labor economists believe that workers mostly pay for general skill development (often in the form of lower wages, when the training occurs on the job), while employers are willing to share more in the costs of developing worker skills more specific to their needs.6 A shift away from specific towards more general skill training will thus involve a shift of the costs of training away from employers towards workers (or the public), and less sharing of any risks involved in whether the market rewards those skills over time.

Some workers whose tasks can mostly be performed by machines will be displaced, while demand is enhanced for others who can work along with the new machines—perhaps as technicians or engineers but also in a range of newer tasks that the machines cannot perform, including more complex analysis or social interactions with customers and coworkers. more> https://goo.gl/pveH2W

Training to Become a Better Manager? Here’s Why It Might Fail You

By Marla Gottschal – We may be hurting future managers/leaders — because they may feel completely prepared, when in fact, they are not.

One key failing may be the narrow contextual focus of managerial training, or in other words, if training can be readily applied to our own work. When we train for a specific situation or even a certain set of variables, training can fall short. The content may not translate to, or mirror, what we experience back in the real world. This limits the impact of training upon our future performance.

One opportunity is developing the elements that comprise psychological capital— a construct that emphasizes feelings of hope, self-efficacy, resiliency and optimism (The HERO variables). Developing resiliency is a perfect illustration. more> http://goo.gl/F98FvG

Why You Don’t Need To Spend A Dime On Training New Hires

By Avi Singer – Here are some hidden assets companies might not know they have.

Allow your area experts to develop training materials. These could include checklists, written guides, or even video demos that can be shared online. Then allow trainees to rate their trainers based on qualities like communication skills, knowledge, and friendliness.

The more opportunities employees have to communicate with one another and share knowledge, the more learning will take place. more> http://tinyurl.com/namqelz

Related>

Why Germany is so much better at training its workers

By Tamar Jacoby – Both employers and employees want more from an apprenticeship than short-term training. Our group heard the same thing in plant after plant: We’re teaching more than skills.

“In the future, there will be robots to turn the screws,” one educator told us. “We don’t need workers for that. What we need are people who can solve problems”

-— skilled, thoughtful, self-reliant employees who understand the company’s goals and methods and can improvise when things go wrong or when they see an opportunity to make something work better. more> http://tinyurl.com/nljv4ae

Space Shuttle Update (2)

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SPACE WATCH – NASA TV
Boeing:
Slide show · Book (pdf)

T-38 Silhouette
NASA – A T-38 jet is silhouetted against the sun in flight. NASA astronauts train in the T-38s to prepare for flying the space shuttle. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

The T-38 remains a fixture for astronaut training more than 30 years later because the sleek, white jets make pilots and mission specialists think quickly in changing situations, mental experiences the astronauts say are critical to practicing for the rigors of spaceflight.

T-38s diving
Powered by two afterburning General Electric J85 engines, a T-38 can fly supersonic, faster than the speed of sound, and soar above 40,000 feet, about 10,000 feet higher than airliners typically cruise. The plane can wrench its pilots through more than seven Gs, or seven times the force of gravity. That’s enough to make simply lifting hands a feat of strength and breathing a labored chore. It’ll make one’s neck feel like it is balancing a cinder block. It’s also more than enough to make the average person black out. more> http://twurl.nl/8ghnt2