Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery-Manpower

* Employers in big economies search to fill skilled jobs

* Poor training, social stigma create shortages

* Manpower says strategic migration can address problem

By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (BestGrowthStock) – Workers with specialized
skills like electricians, carpenters and welders are in
critically short supply in many large economies, a shortfall
that marks another obstacle to the global economic recovery, a
research paper by Manpower Inc (MAN.N: ) concludes.

The global staffing and employment services company says
employers, governments and trade groups need to collaborate on
strategic migration policies that can alleviate worker
shortages. Skilled work is usually specific to a given
location: the work cannot move, so the workers have to.

“Countries should be developing policies which facilitate
positive migration to fuel economic growth through providing
skilled workers where they are needed, rather than creating
barriers to immigration,” Manpower Chief Executive Jeff Joerres
said in a statement.

The shortage of skilled workers is the No. 1 or No. 2
hiring challenge in six of the 10 biggest economies, Manpower
found in a recent survey of 35,000 employers. Skilled trades
were the top area of shortage in 10 of 17 European countries,
according to the survey.

Examples of successful, targeted migration include an Ohio
shipbuilder that brought in experienced workers from Mexico and
Croatia; and a French metal-parts maker that hired Manpower to
find welders in Poland.

The skilled trades category also includes jobs like
bricklayers, cabinet makers, plumbers and butchers. Older,
experienced workers are retiring and their younger replacements
often do not have the right training because their schools are
out of touch with modern business needs, according to
Manpower.

SOCIAL STIGMA

Also contributing to the shortage is social stigma assigned
to skilled blue-collar work, Manpower argues in its paper
published on Wednesday.

A poll of 15-year-olds by the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development found only one in 10 American
teenagers see themselves in a blue-collar job as adults. The
proportion was even lower in Japan.

Education could address that stigma. Students should be
reminded that blue-collar work can be lucrative: skilled
plumbers can make upwards of $75,000 a year, Manpower argues.

Overall, Manpower’s fifth annual talent shortage survey
found 31 percent of employers worldwide are having difficulty
filling positions due to the lack of suitable workers available
in their markets, up one percentage point over last year.

Although the proportion of employers seeing shortages is
still below pre-recession levels, shortages in some countries
are more critical than the global average.

Majorities of those surveyed in Poland, Singapore,
Argentina and Brazil reported shortages. In Japan, 76 percent
had trouble finding the right workers, the highest reading
among the 36 countries and territories.

for a link to Manpower’s research papers, click on:
http://www.manpower.com/research/research.cfm
(Reporting by Nick Zieminski, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Lack of skilled workers threatens recovery-Manpower