The Growing Skills Gap, Explained In Three Charts

There’s high youth unemployment around the world, despite a multitude of job vacancies.

Blame the skills shortage, which 39 per cent of employers say is preventing them from filling entry level jobs, according to a McKinsey report. Meanwhile in most of the world, less than half of students think their educations prepare them for employment. 

Employers know what we’re doing isn’t working. Students know it as well. But educational institutions apparently don’t, which may be preventing them from making needed changes, as this chart from a McKinsey survey indicates: 


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While students prefer hands-on and on the job learning and feel it’s more effective, even vocational schools don’t always make it a priority: 


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Finally, despite leaders and pundits praising vocational training, few parents want to send their own kids to those schools. McKinsey found that every surveyed country except Germany values academic paths over vocational ones: 


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Solutions may require (1) educators changing their perspective, (2) employers investing more in training raise wages when skills are in short supply, (3) and societies changing some deeply held preferences.

Demand and demographic trends mean that unless we start those changes soon, the shortage of highly skilled workers will only increase.

NOW READ: Don’t Complain About The Skills Gap If You Won’t Pay Or Train Anybody