Photo: Action sceptic
Today’s advice comes from Mike Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery Channel, excerpted from his testimony to the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation: “We’ve elevated the importance of ‘higher education’ to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labelled ‘alternative.’
“Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities as ‘vocational consolation prizes,’ best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. And still, we talk about millions of “shovel ready” jobs for a society that doesn’t encourage people to pick up a shovel.
“In a hundred different ways, we have slowly marginalized an entire category of critical professions, reshaping our expectations of a ‘good job’ into something that no longer looks like work.
“A few years from now, an hour with a good plumber — if you can find one — is going to cost more than an hour with a good psychiatrist. At which point we’ll all be in need of both.
“Closing the skills gap doesn’t just benefit future tradesmen and the companies desperate to hire them. It benefits people like me, and anyone else who shares my addiction to paved roads, reliable bridges, heating, air conditioning, and indoor plumbing.
“The skills gap is a reflection of what we value. To close the gap, we need to change the way the country feels about work.”
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