In Different Skills, Different Gaps: Measuring and Closing the Skills Gap, prepared for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation by Burning Glass Technologies, we examine the skills gap on an occupation-by occupation basis. This is the best way to both understand the gap, and to close it. An overall surplus of workers doesn’t offer much insight into the challenges of a specific industry looking to fill specific roles requiring specific skills.
America is in need of a new pathway to opportunity, one where employers, government, and learners share in the risk of talent development. Our current education and training systems are struggling to align to the changing workforce development needs of the economy, and there is a need for expanded leadership and investment from the business community. We need a new approach that will create shared value and more effective pathways to employment. Now is the time to act.
In our special edition report, released in hard copy at the 2017 USCCF hosted America Working Forward event, through research, data, and case studies we discuss the complexity of the skills gap and those who are paving the way forward.
The global economy has undergone a transformation that has shaped our lives in ways that we are only now starting to understand. This paper calls on businesses, workers, and the government to embrace the good and the bad of our new economy, analyze the challenges we face, and identify the roles and the solutions that will lead to a path forward.
While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors. The importance of these skills is widely acknowledged; yet, they are not taught with consistency or given prioritization.