What is the Key to Upskilling?

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 8/28/19 11:00 AM

You know your employees need upskilling. With unemployment at a 50-year low, and a skills gap affecting almost every industry, finding qualified new employees is difficult. Optimizing your existing workforce is the most expeditious way to meet the demands of your business. 

However, like most business objectives, upskilling is easy to talk about and tricky to accomplish. It’s not enough to just offer training and development opportunities. You must offer opportunities that your employees will actually use. This requires a worker-focused approach to upskilling. It’s not just about what your business needs, it’s about what your workers need too.

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Topics: Training, Upskilling, skills solution

Vote for Penn Foster's SXSW Panel & Join Our Movement

Posted by Penn Foster on 8/15/19 11:00 AM

With the majority of the current United States labor market falling somewhere in the vast space between high school graduate and college graduate, those trained to fill roles in this education-gap are often labeled as “middle-skilled.” Jobs either require a degree, or they don’t and those who are stuck in the middle can find themselves locked out because of the all- or- nothing approach of many employers. 

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Topics: Skills Gap, skills solution, SXSW EDU

How Will the Gig Economy Shape the Future of Libraries?

Posted by Ronald J. Stefanski on 7/16/19 3:01 PM

Growth of the Gig Economy

The gig economy, the free market system in which temporary positions are common, has grown exponentially in the past decade, from 10.1% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015.1 The growth of this industry falls to the development of new technologies that enable transactions directly between providers and consumers and the increasing disinterest in acquiring traditional 9-5 jobs.1 More than ever before, people are filling temporary roles including working as handymen, cultivating content as freelance writers, and performing administrative work.

Despite the temporary nature of these roles, they often require new skill sets to be learned. Free educational services and skills development programs provided through libraries have become critical to job placement and advancement for many gig positions and demand continues to increase.

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Topics: Middle Skills Gap, Upskilling, Skills Gap, skills solution, Libraries, workforce development, working learners

Writing Job Postings to Attract the Right Talent

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 7/10/19 11:00 AM

A well-developed job posting is the first step toward attracting the right talent to fill open positions. With a yawning skills gap, and a plummeting unemployment rate, quality job postings are more important than ever. If you’re still repurposing the same job postings you used a decade ago, you’re probably missing great candidates. 

Scan any of the major job listing sites and you’ll find a wide range of styles. Some stick to a traditional framework, while others try to infuse company culture into every line. Whichever style you choose, your goal is the same: to attract the best candidates for the job. To do so, you need more than a list of expectations. You need to help candidates see themselves in the position. 

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Topics: Skills Gap, skills solution, Staffing

Skills Gap Deniers Suffer From A Narrow Definition of What the Skills Gap Is

Posted by Emma Rose Gallimore on 6/26/19 11:00 AM

By now most corporations recognize that the United States is facing a skills gap. Yet there are still some people who refuse to believe the skills gap exists. While it’s tempting to claim that these skills gap deniers have some political agenda that can only succeed if the skills gap is proven false, the reality is that most people who don’t believe in the skills gap are looking at the problem too narrowly. 

The disagreement is understandable. Read a dozen articles on the skills gap and you’ll come away with at least six definitions of what the skills gap is. Some don’t even bother to define it, assuming a clear, shared understanding that simply doesn’t exist. 

To avoid that stumbling block, here is a definition to work from: the term skills gap defines the mismatch between the skills employers want employees to have and what applicants are actually able to do.

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Topics: Skills Gap, skills solution, workforce development

The Future is Solar

Posted by Marie Murphy on 6/17/19 4:21 PM

Alternative energy, especially solar energy, has become an increasingly in-demand resource over the last decade. There have been several reasons that have driven this demand, including environmental motivations as more and more people are looking for renewable energy resources. Additionally, the cost of installing solar panels has decreased dramatically. Since 2010, PV panel cost estimates have declined by almost 56% for residential installations, and over 70% for both non-residential/commercial and utility-scale installations.1 The falling costs have increased the accessibility and demand, ultimately making solar installation skills more valuable in today’s job market.

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Topics: skills solution, Skilled Trades, in-demand occupations

The Cure for the Healthcare Skills Gap

Posted by Marie Murphy on 5/15/19 9:42 AM

While jobs are opening and remaining unfilled in industries as diverse as manufacturing and retail, one industry is facing a unique epidemic: healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expected to grow 18% between 2016 to 2026, adding 2.4 million new jobs.This growth is projected to climb particularly in patient-facing roles that do not require extensive college credentials.

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Topics: workplace competencies, skills solution, in-demand occupations

The Real Impact of Automation: A Skills Revolution

Posted by Frank Britt on 3/1/19 5:00 AM

You’ve heard that the biggest enemies of the skilled worker in the last two decades have been automation and the constantly improving technologies that will make human work obsolete. If a machine can complete a task more efficiently at less cost, it makes sense to invest in cutting edge technology over upskilling workers. Conventional wisdom has us fearing a fully automated workforce because it means the eradication of middle-skilled jobs in almost every industry. Before completely investing in an automated future over developing workers’ skills, consider this often overlooked, contrarian point of view: the impact of automation on the workforce will be incremental and, in fact, positive.

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Topics: Upskilling, skills solution, automation

The Prescription for Success: New Program Seeks to Address Growing Pharmacy Technician Field

Posted by Marie Murphy on 7/19/18 1:12 PM

Pharmacy technicians are the ever-present faces at drug stores, pharmacies, and hospitals across the nation, fulfilling a crucial role in the healthcare system. As the population ages, requiring prescription medication care, pharmacies are becoming more important in the healthcare industry. As such, the job outlook for pharmacy technicians is expanding at a faster rate than average, at 12%, suggesting a need for more skilled workers to fill these opening positions.

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Topics: skills solution, Forward Thinking Careers, in-demand occupations

How To Create a Learning Pathway for Your Employees

Posted by Kate Mosteller on 7/12/18 3:53 PM

Finding employees with the right skills is a struggle for many businesses, but manufacturing and information technology are having the most trouble according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. They’re facing a skills gap, resulting in millions of unfilled jobs across the country.

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Topics: Upskilling, skills solution, workforce training

 

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