Many Can Have Good Jobs, and Good Lives, Without College

SkillsGapApprenticeshipsGraph2016-09-30.jpgSource of graph: online version of the WSJ article quoted and cited below.

(p. B1) American employers struggling to find enough qualified industrial workers are turning to Germany for a solution to plug the U.S. skills gap: vocational training.

Two million U.S. manufacturing jobs will remain vacant over the next decade due to a shortage of trained workers, according to an analysis by the Manufacturing Institute, a nonprofit advocacy group affiliated with the National Association of Manufacturers, and professional-services firm Deloitte LLP.
While the Obama administration has invested millions of dollars to promote skills-based training, it remains a tough sell in a country where four-year university degrees are seen as the more viable path to good-paying jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said two-thirds of high school graduates who enrolled in college in 2015 opted for four-year degrees.
. . .
In Germany, roughly half of high-school graduates opt for (p. B2) high-octane apprenticeships rather than college degrees. One draw: almost certain employment.
German apprentices spend between three and four days a week training at a company and between one and two days at a public vocational school. The company pays wages and tuition. After three years, apprentices take exams to receive nationally recognized certificates in their occupation. Many continue working full time at the company.
The Labor Department said 87% of apprentices in the U.S. are employed after completing their training programs. Workers who complete apprenticeships earn $50,000 annually on average, or higher than the median U.S. annual wage of $44,720,

For the full story, see:
ELIZABETH SCHULZE. “U.S. Turns to Germany to Fill Jobs.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., Sept. 27, 2016): B1-B2.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Sept. 26, 2016, and has the title “U.S. Companies Turn to German Training Model to Fill Jobs Gap.”)

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