- Jobs & Skills
Training Inexperienced Workers to Fill JobsAugust 28, 2012
In a recent article adapted from his new book, Peter Cappelli, a professor of Wharton's Center for Human Resources, addresses unemployment and skills training.
Unemployment numbers released each month continue to show a grim outlook for jobs, despite a recent study from ManpowerGroup that discovered about half of employers reported trouble filling vacancies. Some of those employers pointed to a lack of skills. But how can they close the gap?
In an article published in TIME Business, Peter Cappelli, a professor and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, argues that employers should do more to train prospective employees – even those with little work experience.
He says employers who say they can’t find required skills in candidates should ask, “Wouldn’t we be better off helping good candidates complete the requirements to be a perfect fit rather than keeping positions open indefinitely?”
Cappelli writes that employers want to hire experienced candidates with backgrounds similar to the open position. “That’s certainly understandable, but the only people who can do that are those who have done virtually the same job before, and that often requires a skill set that, in a rapidly changing world, may die out soon after it is perfected,” he states.
Cappelli points to the old-fashioned system of apprenticeships and similar programs that provided ways for employees to pay for training, and says it was common for employers to hire candidates after they graduated from school. Employers now should work more closely with colleges and universities to develop skill sets in candidates, he argues.
“It makes no sense to expect that a supplier will produce what you want if you give it no advanced warning of what that might be and no help developing it,” Cappelli writes. “But the first step is to recognize the problem is self-inflicted.”
Cappelli’s article was adapted from his book, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, which was published this summer.