The Fluke 2012 Workforce Trends Study, released by electronic test tools provider Fluke Corporation, has found that while nearly 25 percent of the American workforce is set to retire within the next five years, 85 percent of employers are having a difficult time finding candidates with the right skill sets to perform the soon-to-be-vacant jobs.
“We are going to be looking at a lot of people exiting the workforce,” said Randall Ambuehl, training director for Northwest Washington Electrical Industry Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) “At the same time we’re going to have to pull in large numbers of people to take their place. What we thought was going to be a training spike five years ago is going to be deeper . . . to meet those needs.”
The study involved educators, trainees, and hiring managers, among other employees to better understand workforce trends. Participants were queried on their perceptions on current job opportunities, the necessary training and experience required to succeed in those jobs, and the methods by which new employees received job training.
“Our whole educational system in the US is designed to push kids into four-year universities, and there’s nothing else there. We’re losing opportunities for people with cognitive skills who are going into universities without knowing that there’s a profession out there to be a professional craftsman and that they can make a really good living with great benefits, and have the opportunity to learn,” said Steve Urich, 15-year instructor at Valley Electric and interviewee for the Fluke survey.