Employment Training and Skills Gaps




Originally two twitter threads: thread 1 thread 2.

Careering Magazine (part of CERIC) had an article by Malika Asthana (from the LMS company D2L) about The Skills-Gap Paradox.

It showed a substantial disconnect from employers with the research essentially showing them saying:

  1. We worry about if we can recruit people with skills we need
  2. We don’t have capacity to deliver internal training
  3. We don’t provide time off or funding for external training
  4. We don’t see a problem with this

Some key quotes from that article:

“Only 21% of decision-makers at Canadian SMEs report feeling very confident that they will have the skills and talent they need to grow their organizations over the next three years,”

“With smaller budgets, many SMEs struggle to create and deliver robust, broad training programs in-house.” “Only 34% of SMEs in both Canada and the US provide financial support or time off for training delivered by external providers.”

“SME decision makers said that internal training or on-the-job learning was sufficient.”


So the question then is, how do we fix this? If there’s no time off or funding then external trainers, like PSIs, can’t help. If there’s no capacity for in-house training then contract trainers can’t help.

Is this the logical conclusion of lean staffing?

Well, in the mid 90s workers in Canada received an average of 44 hours of training provided by/paid by their employer, which was average for comparable countries. Most of those countries remain the same. In Canada, however, it dropped to 20 hours by the end of the ’00s.

But this didn’t matter, it was the post ’08 employment crunch. Employers were guaranteed a stream of diagonal applicants to jobs, people who had done much of the job somewhere else for slightly less pay.

The #greatretirement (is that a thing now?) has brought us back to the late 90s in terms of employee choice, but that means that employers aren’t able to get people with the same level of skills they relied on, because those people all got bumped up a substantial pay level.

Employers need to get back into the employee training game or they will be left behind by those who do more/better training. If an employee is offered the same $ by two companies but one of them also offers twice as much training to move on to bigger and better things, guess who wins?


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