Education and the workplace – the widening gap

graduating students throwing hats up in the air

The reasons to get an education are endless. It gives you perspective on the world and ultimately gives you the knowledge to build a career. The link between education and the working world, however, is breaking down. Skills mismatching happens when an individual’s qualification or training does not match with their employment opportunities. The result includes unemployment, low wages, job dissatisfaction, inability to find suitable labour and these all affect the overall productivity and competitiveness of the economy. It poses a problem for the economy all who make up the workforce.

The skills crisis

We aren’t facing a jobs crisis but rather a skills crisis. Companies can invest in internal development to ensure the right skills for the role. Although many companies are willing to pay more to hire employees with the right skills, a lack of skills means that companies should invest in learnerships to prepare existing employees.

Misunderstanding employer needs

Primary and secondary educational institutions are not fully aware of the needs of businesses. A higher percentage of educational institutions believe that newly educated workers are ready for work, while a lower percentage of employers believe this. The gap causes conflict and leaves many unprepared to enter the job market.

The wrong choice of education

What to study is a serious question and not everyone knows the answer. The lack of preparation before studying leads to not finding adequate employment after studying. Coaching from educational institutions about possible career choices and how to assess aptitude for different careers assists with the gap between education and the workplace.

Skills, skills, skills

Investment in training is the way to counter the widening gap between education and work. Young people should seek out employers and managers that believe in skills development training because book knowledge is great but working knowledge and skills will ensure longevity. And along with organisations, educational institutions must ensure current knowledge of the workplace to best prepare students.

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