Executive Coaching & The Skills Gap

Monster.com has an interesting article on the skills gap in the American work force, which occurs when employers are not able to find enough qualified workers to meet their needs.

According to the article, 57 percent of companies with 100 or more employees have had a hard time finding workers with the right skills. This is partly because many companies are starting to require more and more employees who are capable of performing knowledge work tasks, even when it is not part of the “official” job description. Executive coaching can help managers, executives and corporate leaders develop plans to solve this common problem.

The short supply of skilled workers is not only felt in the IT sector, but also in other areas like science, mathematics and foreign languages. Some believe that the skills gap may increase dramatically as highly experienced and qualified engineers, scientists, and managers in the “baby boom” generation begin to retire at an increasing rate without enough qualified workers to replace them.

Soft skills like effective communication, teamwork, leadership, and business savvy are also in high demand. Soft skills are an area where executive coaching can be particularly helpful.

While many managers feel that on-the-job training is critical, other employers believe that it is up to employees themselves to obtain these skills. Through the National Skill Standards Board (NSSB), the government is also making an effort to improve training programs and match skill sets with industry requirements, hoping that this will lead to a more globally competitive workforce.

The good news is that there are opportunities out there for those who work at obtaining and improving relevant career skills. Some may argue that workers have been let down by the numerous problems in our public education system. However, it is really up to all of us to take personal responsibility for our careers and obtain the necessary skills to compete in a global economy. The opportunities and resources are out there for those that are willing to make the effort to improve themselves.

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