Who’s to Blame for the Skills Gap?

The latest poll from the American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor shows most Americans believe institutions, like schools and employers, share the blame for the U.S. skills gap; however, there may be more to the story.

In a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by Harris Poll, seven in 10 (72%) say students’ failure to study in-demand fields, like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, contributes to the skills gap.

The government is also implicated, with over half of U.S. adults believing the federal (54%) and state and local governments (57%) fail to offer sufficient training programs. Three in four (77%) say the government should provide more incentives to businesses for providing training.

In addition to individual responsibility, those surveyed also cited schools failing to develop employable graduates. The majority of U.S. adults also feel employer-driven failures are responsible for the skills gap issue and pointed out these key examples:
● Failing to provide training (69%)
● Not offering apprenticeship programs (63%)
● Not communicating expectations to employees (61%)
● Having unrealistic expectations of job candidates’ skills (58%)

“The ASA Workforce Monitor findings support that there is no single cause nor solution to closing America’s growing skills gap—blame for the root causes is shared, with individual accountability a key factor,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “People at all stages of their lives must commit to lifelong learning to maintain their future employability and ensure that the U.S. has the skilled workforce needed to sustain productivity-driven growth and competitiveness.”

Sources: American Staffing