In industries such as manufacturing, there will be a labour shortage when it comes to skilled workers. The reason for this is that the older work force that possessed the right skills is retiring and unskilled workers cannot fill these job vacancies. In many countries, the number of jobs requiring skilled workers are increasing. On the other hand, the younger generation has shunned careers in this sector.
There are growing mismatches between the needs of employers and skills of the workforce. In 2011, when US unemployment exceeded 9 percent, an MGI survey found that 30 percent of US companies had positions open for more than six months that they could not fill. In Japan, 80 percent of companies reported similar gaps. Despite rising educational attainment across advanced economies, by 2020, the United States may have 1.5 million too few workers with college or graduate degrees and nearly 6 million too many who have not completed high school; France could be short 2.2 million baccalaureate holders and have 2.3 million too many workers who lack that degree (mckinsey).
The success of Germany's economy has long been driven by small and mid-sized companies dependent on skilled labor. But a developing shortage of experts represents a threat to the country's economic future (Spiegel).
Skill mismatch is one of the main challenges faced by economies. Empirical evidence shows that, in far too many cases, workers are not well-matched with their current jobs. Some are over-skilled for their current jobs – they are capable of handling more complex tasks and their skills are underused – while others are under-skilled for their current jobs – they lack the skills normally needed for their job (OECD).
The big picture shows that skilled workers will own the future. The young generation should see this opportunity and look for careers in this sector.