Iowa City-based A.C.T.has released a research report it says will help workforce agencies find workers who have the skills needed for the available jobs. A.C.T.vice president for business development, Paul Scianna, says it’s a growing concern in the current economy, where jobs are available, but the right employees are not.
He says it’s called the “skills gap” and the report defines it as represents the skills needed for a job versus those skills a worker possesses. A.C.T.is know for its exam that tests the college readiness of students. Scianna says they used their experience to help define the skills gap.
Scianna says many employers have an idea of what skills are needed for a position, but they have gone in and done and in-depth study of the skills needed for jobs. He says they found many potential workers are lacking some of the key skills needed. Scianna says they found that manufacturing, healthcare, construction and energy related jobs require a high or middle level of education, but A.C.T.found that many of the potential workers were lacking in a skill called “locating information.”
That skill involves locating and defining information on charts, graphs, gauges and those kind of things. Scianna says they’ve found that a good educational track record may not be enough to meet the requirements of some jobs. He says their research shows a person’s education completion level may not in an of itself reflect the skills required for an occupation, and that includes cases where the person has studied specifically for that occupation.
Scianna says employers will begin to look at not only what the knowledge is the applicant has, but also other skills and abilities. He says that includes things like cognitive skills as well as behavioral skills. You can see the report at: www.ACT.org.