Harvard Business Review report calls for business to ‘harness the power of technology’.
There’s little doubt that the worldwide workforce is experiencing a crisis. The economic divide between post-secondary graduates, skilled labor, and unskilled labor has left millions of people working in jobs that don’t pay enough to provide basic quality of life, while the “college at all costs” mentality has resulted in a global pool of graduates who finish school with weakened prospect of meaningful employment. Couple that with crippling student loan debt and a shrinking pool of skilled blue-collar laborers, and the future for both employment and education is grim.
The power of tech
A new report has looked at ways that tech companies can be a safety net in the crisis. According to Kausik Rajgopal and Steve Westly for Harvard Business Review, “It’s now time for business, particularly technology companies, to harness the power of technology to help turn the tide. Three key initiatives can help: Supplementing K-12 with vocational training programs, increasing access to job retraining for adults, and empowering lower-skilled workers to continuously ‘upskill’ on the job.”
Hot right now
Apart from the desperately needed return to vocational education in the US–a bygone relic from the days when a high school graduate with adequate training could expect to own a home and raise a family on wages earned in skilled factory, manufacturing, or repair work such as automotive or major appliances–tech companies can be more proactive about looking ahead to the jobs that are “hot hires” right now; but that may be obsolete before those employees reach retirement age.
Rajhopal and Westly cite one company that is already upskilling its employees for longevity in the workplace, and more companies are expected to invest in re-education or on-the-job training programs in the near future. This comes at a time when the US is seeing a renewed interest in the value of less technology-based career fields, thanks to the decreasing numbers of employees in jobs that have been looked down upon for far too long.