Washington, D.C. A new report has found that U.S. employers continue to struggle with an ill-prepared work force, even as the Obama administration spotlights the training and skills workers will need for the jobs of tomorrow.
The report featured case studies that included CVS Caremark, TJX Cos. and YUM! Brands.
For the most part, employer-sponsored readiness training is not successfully correcting deficiencies, according to “The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training,” produced by Corporate Voices for Working Families, the American Society for Training & Development, The Conference Board and the Society for Human Resource Management.
“The results of this study demonstrate how critical it is for companies to be more strategic and focused on efforts such as providing internships and working in partnership with community colleges on workforce readiness initiatives to prepare new entrants before they enter the workplace,” said Donna Klein, executive chair, Corporate Voices for Working Families.
“It is a losing strategy for employers to try to fill the workforce readiness gap on the job. They need to be involved much sooner to prepare new employees to succeed,” Klein said.
The report drew from a survey of 217 employers about their training of newly hired graduates of high school and two- and four-year colleges.
Almost half of respondents said they have to provide readiness training for new hires -- and the majority rate their programs as only “moderately” or “somewhat successful.”
“It doesn’t make any difference if you’re operating a business in Mumbai, Beijing or New York -- the No. 1 challenge facing every organization is finding and growing skilled talent,” said SHRM CEO and president Laurence O’Neil. “HR professionals are helping bridge the gap, finding ways to give employees the skills they need to add value and to be more valued. This isn’t just an HR challenge, but a bottom-line global business problem.”
The report, which includes five case studies of successful workforce readiness programs run by Bank of America and Year Up, CVS Caremark and TJX Cos., Harper Industries, Northrop Grumman and YUM! Brands, cited among its findings that many companies face new hires who lack crucial critical-thinking and creativity skills -- but don’t offer related training.
Employers with successful workforce readiness training incorporate a culture committed to training and thorough job-readiness screening, strategic partnerships with local colleges, and a focus on integrating training with job-specific skills and career development.
"The Ill-Prepared U.S. Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training" is available on the Web sites of each of the participating organizations: Corporate Voices for Working Families (www.cvworkingfamilies.org), The American Society for Training and Development (www.astd.org), The Conference Board (www.conference-board.org), and the Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.org).