May 6, 2013

JOBS WHITE PEOPLE WON'T DO:

Apprenticeships could help U.S. workers gain a competitive edge (Stuart E. Eizenstat and Robert I. Lerman, Published: May 3, 2013, Washington Post)


The central answer to the mismatch between jobs and employment is a 21st-century apprenticeship program. In Austria, Germany and Switzerland -- countries with long histories of guilds and craftwork -- 55 to 70 percent of all young people enter apprenticeships. Apprenticeships have grown rapidly in other countries, tripling in Australia since 1996 and jumping tenfold -- to more than 500,000 entrants last year -- in England since 1990. The Group of 20 ministers of labor, the International Labor Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development strongly recommend expanding apprenticeship programs.

Apprenticeships could help reduce youth unemployment, widen opportunities for young people who do not want to sit in class all day and help ensure that the potential resurgence in manufacturing is not thwarted by a mismatch of skills. With effective apprenticeship systems, highly developed economies sustain jobs in manufacturing. Employment in manufacturing accounts for 20 percent of jobs in Germany and 16 percent in Switzerland but only 10 percent in the United States.

Although apprenticeships yield significant earnings gains for workers, this country has too few programs, partly because of the massive bias in public spending toward a college-only approach. 

Posted by at May 6, 2013 7:51 PM
  

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