Is there a skills shortage or a shortage of common sense?

Many can relate to this image
Many can relate to this image

I will not disclose names to protect the privacy of the individuals mentioned in this post.

We see the common refrain from business leaders and governments worldwide – “We need more skills, we have a skills shortage etc etc”.

In particular job functions this is probably true.  It is not easy to find a Cyber Security Expert.  However, there appears to be a disconnect between skills shortages and common sense.  Let’s look at two cases:

M has over 15 years of experience in Fabrication and also has skills in advanced graphic design.   He has worked in the Auto sector, for major parts suppliers yet also has diverse skills in graphic design.  He has designed brochures for major condo, real estate developers.   M recently was let go from his job (a job provided via an agency).   M has a wife and 2 young children to support.   M decides to engage the Canada Economic Action Plan to see if they can help.  After all, look at all the ads on TV.    M gets in touch with a firm saying they need his skills as they are hard to find.   However there are two problems. 1) This is yet another agency not the actual hiring firm and 2) They offer him a job that pays $11.50/hr working full time.   How does a 40+ highly skilled male with a wife and 2 children support his family making $11.50/hr?  Especially when his previous role paid him well over $20?   This makes no sense.  Who is really benefiting from the Billions spent on the Economic Action Plan?

Person D has over 6 years experience in the Sales & Marketing field in Southern Africa.   She later obtains certifications and enrolls for a Masters program while maintaining her job.   She hears that her country requires more Sales people in the Information Technology and Telecommunications fields.   So she obtains another certification in Telecommunications.   She meets all the criteria but when she applies for a job with her own firm or 2 others – they tell her; that she doesn’t have the skills.  The firm instead overpays for an outsider when she was already qualified for.   Yet as recent as two weeks ago, a business association in the region claims that youth are not prepared for the job market.  

Where is this disconnect coming from?   On one hand, industry says we need more skills.  Yet at the same time will pay someone the salary that a teenager would make.   On the next hand, a young professional does everything industry tells her to do yet is told – tough luck.

In North America, many highly skilled people are wondering what on earth is going on.   In Africa and the Caribbean who both have very high rates of youth employment – young professionals are wondering , what else do I have to do to make a decent living?

Yes, every nation needs a skilled workforce with modern skills.  However, every nation and hiring organization also needs COMMON SENSE!!!


blog post by Radcliffe Dockery


Published by

Rad BMW Blog

Business & Marketing Development Professional who recently fulfilled a boyhood dream of owning a BMW! Sharing his experiences with his new BMW 535d xDrive!

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