Good morning fellow bloggers and HR pros! I’m finally back in the blogosphere after a few weeks of quiet and calm (you can thank a new job and the last few weeks of my HR certificate program for the absence). I woke up this morning, squeezed in a quick workout at the gym and ran home to write about something inspiring and and uplifting in the HR world… and I came across the article above. What a kick in the neck! Nothing like a conversation about unemployment to get me motivated for the day. (NOT!!!!)
Author Ira Wolfe provided his readers with an interesting view of the real unemployment numbers and what they mean to employers, recruiters and job seekers. It was quite saddening and frustrating to learn that out of 8 adults, only 1 of the 8 graduates with their high school diploma. What was even more shocking to me is that our youngest population of workers, individuals ranging from ages 16-24, had the highest population of unemployment at 15.4%. It is so sad to see that this generational group that has had the highest exposure to so many amazing things in regards to technology, diversity and culture, is the most underserved in relation to their ability to obtain and retain meaningful work that can support them and their families. It’s mind boggling.
Wolfe also points out that almost 40% working adults (ages 25-54) do not have the capacity to read or write business correspondence (they are polling at a low literacy level of 3). This is ridiculous! What are young people being taught in high school?!?!? As a child of an educator, I am privy to conversations about the bureaucracy and politics involved in the education system and the hell that teachers have to go through to keep their jobs, but it’s time that we institute major educational reform and start insisting on the implementation of classes that actually teach people how to survive in the business world be taught at the high school level. I want to see high schools offer a business class that shows students how to balance a check book, how to navigate the often complicated and overwhelming realm of credit cards, how to write an clear and concise resume and cover letter and how to properly correspond to business communications. There is absolutely no reason that students should be graduating without the confidence to apply to jobs, perform well during interviews, correspond in the business world and understand what a credit rating is and why it is important.
I am curious to see what your experience has been with “under skilled” workers over the past few years and if you have also been seeing a trend in job applicants who simply didn’t have the necessary basic skills (reading, writing, simple math) to perform the jobs they were applying to.