A Better Metric for the Value of a Worker Training Program

The United States has thousands of workforce development and training programs, run by the public, social, and private sectors. Some are excellent; others, not so much. The problem is that we don’t know which are which. That lack of knowledge is costly.

Read all: A Better Metric for the Value of a Worker Training Program

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The Economist: What employers can do to encourage their workers to retrain

David Deming of Harvard University has shown that the labour market is already rewarding people in occupations that require social skills. Since 1980 growth in employment and pay has been fastest in professions across the income scale that put a high premium on social skills (see chart).

Read all What employers can do to encourage their workers to retrain | The Economist

The 2017 Deloitte millennial survey 2017

Deloitte’s latest millennials study looks at their world view and finds many, especially in developed economies, are anxious about their future.

They are concerned about a world that presents numerous threats and question their personal prospects. By JFK’s measure, at least, many millennials are not sure they can trust the promises of their respective countries.

However, there are strong reasons for optimism.

And, as our millennials series has consistently found, the activities of businesses and the opportunities provided to their workforces represent a platform for positive change. For businesses seeking to attract, develop, and retain millennial talent, this report offers a guide to their concerns and motivations. It reinforces the connection made between purpose and retention while outlining how increased use of flexible working arrangements and automation are likely to impact millennials’ attitudes and performance.

Key findings include: read the paper

 

Closing the skills gap: Creating workforce-development programs that work for everyone | McKinsey & Company

The ‘‘skills gap’’ in the United States is serious. Here is how to do better.

“The land of opportunity”—that is the promise of the United States. And one of the reasons the country has been able to deliver on that promise is that it has been able to develop the talent it needs to create wealth and to adapt to ever-changing economic realities. But there are concerns that the United States can and should be doing better.

This will require policies and actions on many fronts, for example on trade, taxation, regulation, education, and fiscal and monetary policy. In this article, we focus on a single subject: preparing people without college degrees for jobs with promising career paths.

On the one hand, almost 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need, even for entry-level jobs. Almost 60 percent complain of lack of preparation, even for entry-level jobs. On the other hand, this “skills gap” represents a massive pool of untapped talent, and it has dire consequences, including economic underperformance, social unrest, and individual despair.

The skills gap takes different forms.

In some cases, it is a matter of youth struggling to enter the workforce; in others, it is midcareer learners who have lost their jobs because of factory closings or layoffs, and who now must adapt. Whatever the circumstance, when people are disconnected from the workplace, they often disconnect from other social institutions as well.

This is not healthy—neither for those left out nor for the societies in which they live.

Recognizing the importance of this subject, McKinsey has done extensive research on global workforce-development programs and economic strategies.

We have also worked with a number of state, local, and national governments.So based on our research and experience, we have identified five principles that we believe should be the foundation of workforce-development programs—for funders, participants, and employers .

Read all: Closing the skills gap: Creating workforce-development programs that work for everyone | McKinsey & Company

 

McKinsey & Company: Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy

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The McKinsey Global Institute examines all the ways people are earning income, as well as the challenges independent work presents.

Working nine to five for a single employer bears little resemblance to the way a substantial share of the workforce makes a living today.

Millions of people assemble various income streams and work independently, rather than in structured payroll jobs. This is hardly a new phenomenon, yet it has never been well measured in official statistics—and the resulting data gaps prevent a clear view of a large share of labor-market activity.

To better understand the independent workforce and what motivates the people who participate in it, the McKinsey Global Institute surveyed some 8,000 respondents across Europe and the United States.

We asked about their income in the past 12 months—encompassing primary work, as well as any other income-generating activities—and about their professional satisfaction and aspirations for work in the future.

The resulting report, Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy, finds that up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States—or 20 to 30 percent of the working-age population—engage in some form of independent work.

While demographically diverse, independent workers largely fit into four segments (exhibit): free agents, who actively choose independent work and derive their primary income from it; casual earners, who use independent work for supplemental income and do so by choice; reluctants, who make their primary living from independent work but would prefer traditional jobs; and the financially strapped, who do supplemental independent work out of necessity.

Read all: Independent work: Choice, necessity, and the gig economy | McKinsey & Company