Most Young People Entering the U.S. Workforce Lack Critical Skills Essential For Success

Partnership for 21st Century Skills, The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families and the Society for Human Resource Management:

As the baby boom generation slowly exits the U.S. workplace, a new survey of leaders from a consortium of business research organizations finds the incoming generation sorely lacking in much needed workplace skills — both basic academic and more advanced “applied” skills, according to a report released today.
The report is based on a detailed survey of 431 human resource officials that was conducted in April and May 2006 by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management. Its objective was to examine employers’ views on the readiness of new entrants to the U.S. workforce — recently hired graduates from high schools, two-year colleges or technical schools, and four-year colleges.
“The future workforce is here, and it is ill-prepared,” concludes the report.
The findings reflect employers’ growing frustrations over the preparedness of new entrants to the workforce. Employers expect young people to arrive with a core set of basic knowledge and the ability to apply their skills in the workplace – and the reality is not matching the expectation.

Complete 3.5MB PDF report | PDF Workforce Readiness Report Card

One thought on “Most Young People Entering the U.S. Workforce Lack Critical Skills Essential For Success”

  1. I find the results of this report laughably ironic. The criticism that the coming workforce as unable to write, and think critically is precisely the necessary characteristics of vast majority of consumers who these same corporations depend on to buy their products and services.
    Now, really, I’m going to take this study seriously? Who are the sponsors? Why, Dell Computer and Microsoft who believe that necessarily, a computer for every child, and closing the “technology” gap is critical. Or more profoundly, a sponsor who has nothing but concern for kids well-being: Phillip Morris Youth Smoking Prevention, who, as we all know, to quote them, “helps support positive development and healthy alternatives for kids; and our youth access prevention initiatives promote positive environments where kids do not have access to cigarettes.” (You are aware that the cigarette manufacturers have substantially increased the amount of nicotine in their cigarettes, including the low nicotine brands, to promote addiction!).
    Corporate and political leaders and their legions of PR and “journalists” who control every aspect of “defining” issues of the day depend on the mob mentality, non-critical thinking, and pliability to keep these “leaders” in power and achieve what is good for those in power. (Note the sponsors).
    You would need to be far more generous than I to even suggest that the dialog and deliberations of our “honorable” senators, representatives, presidents, religious leaders, justices, CEOs bear any similarity to critical thinking, a search for truth, or that these general principles play any part in their character.
    So, the problem that faces the educational system from the standpoint of those in power, is how to school a sufficient number of folks to work effectively in their system, while ensuring that those same folks do not become educated and hinder their system. How do you school enough people to make enough money to waste it on your products and services, but not educate them too much else they will not buy?
    A, if not THE, critical component of a successful educational system is that the society, institutions, and adults within it, MODEL those characteristics of the educated person. I don’t believe there are any such models.

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