Workforce analysts and industry experts are becoming increasingly concerned that our workforce is not prepared to succeed at work. From education concerns to a skilled labor shortage, Oklahoma business leaders, HR professionals, and the community are taking action. While college graduation numbers are on the rise, experts believe there is a knowledge shortage looming. Employees of all backgrounds, education, and skill levels are not prepared or trained to fill the necessary job openings we have available today.
A 2012 study by Woods Bagot surveyed elite business decision makers to find out why our workforce isn’t career ready. In fact, senior organization leaders believe that only 1/4 of graduates have the skills they need to succeed at work.
Oklahoma State HR Director, Laura Moxley warns that labor shortages are for skilled as well as college educated workers. “There is an increasing demand in our state for the skilled worker. Unemployment levels have remained low at 5.1%. Both demand and competition for skilled laborers in welding, manufacturing, and machinery are on the rise. Oklahoma is not keeping up,” says Moxley.
Moxley’s right. Oklahoma HR professionals and business leaders should be concerned. In August, unemployment numbers for the nation were 8.1% while Oklahoma was 3 percentage points lower at 5.1%. A reported shortage of nearly 1 million skilled workers is expected by the end of the decade. This is a huge concern for employers especially when you consider the average skilled worker is 56 years old. Retirement for the Oklahoma’s skilled workforce is just a stone’s throw away.
Next week’s Oklahoma Ready to Work Conference will discuss solutions surrounding skilled labor shortages and career readiness in addition to workforce trends like flexible workplaces and telecommuting. Learn more about Career Readiness at the Oklahoma Ready to Work Conference and Expo on October 26th from 8:00 AM- 4:00 PM.
Conference information can be found at http://b4j.co/2012-read2work. Attendees will receive 4 strategic and 2 general HRCI recertification credits.
Read the full article at http://b4j.co/ok-ready2work-12.