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Siemens Says US Workers Lack Skills

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by madmonkey37, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. madmonkey37

    madmonkey37 Contributing Member

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    [rQUOTEr]German Giant Says US Workers Lack Skills

    A mismatch in the US labour market between the skills of unemployed people and the jobs available is making it hard for some companies to find the right staff despite an unemployment rate of more than 9 percent, one of the country’s largest manufacturing employers has warned.

    Eric Spiegel, chief executive in the US for Siemens , the German engineering group, said the problem exposed weaknesses in education and training in the US. Siemens had been forced to use more than 30 recruiters and hire staff from other companies to find the workers it needed for its expansion plans, even amid an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent

    “There’s a mismatch between the jobs that are available, at least in our portfolio, and the people that we see out there,” Mr Spiegel told the Financial Times. “There is a shortage (of workers with the right skills.)”

    He said Siemens was having to invest in education and training to meet its staffing needs, including apprenticeship programmes of the kind it uses in Germany. (Slideshow: What workers get, country by country).

    His comments, made before Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, visits a Siemens plant in Ohio on Monday, suggest better education and training could help reduce the persistently high US unemployment rate.

    The US labour market does not in general show signs of tightness: average wage growth in the year to the first quarter of 2011 was just 2 percent. Volkswagen , the German carmaker, had 85,000 applicants for 2,000 jobs at its new plant on Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    However, a recent survey from Manpower, the employment agency, found that 52 percent of leading US companies reported difficulties in recruiting essential staff, up from 14 percent in 2010.

    In manufacturing in particular there is evidence of a mismatch between workforce skills and available jobs: while employment has fallen since January 2009, the number of available job openings has risen from 98,000 to 230,000.

    Mr Spiegel’s concerns about skills are shared by many other US business leaders, and were reflected this month in the first recommendations from President Barack Obama’s advisory council on jobs and competitiveness.

    Responding to those concerns, the administration this month launched a nationwide expansion of the Skills for America’s Future programme, offering training, workforce development and job placements to help people find jobs in industry.

    The programme is being run with the Manufacturing Institute, the think-tank affiliated to the National Association of Manufacturers. Emily Derocco, the institute’s president, said: “There is very definitely a gap between those that are unemployed or underemployed, and the education and skills that manufacturers require today. The companies are leaner and heavily technology-intensive, and require more than a high school diploma.”

    Jeff Joerres, chief executive of Manpower, said businesses were more selective while the recovery was still weak and uncertain: “Employers have a much more sophisticated definition of skill requirements. Workers need to be instantly productive, and that makes a higher bar.”

    The Nobel prize-winning economist Peter Diamond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was this month forced to withdraw from seeking a seat on the US Federal Reserve board of governors after Republican opposition, has argued that it can be worthwhile to invest in more education and training regardless of the general condition of the economy.

    Copyright 2011 The Financial Times Limited
    URL: http://www.cnbc.com/id/43459947/[/rQUOTEr]

    Can't say I'm surprised, the NYT had a article a while back on how US based manufacturers, who replaced unskilled labor with machines, had trouble finding people during the recession who could read and do math at a ninth grade level.
     
  2. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    No No No, Siemens is filling all these jobs with illegals
     
  3. Qball

    Qball Contributing Member

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    And here we are doing budget cuts to basic education. :(
     
  4. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    And in Texas, our Republican government slashes billions from education. Brillant. :-(-
     
  5. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    But I'm sure that can't be correct since we have several million folks who have transferable skills from our specialty of tramping around the Middle East hunting for folks who don't like our occupying forces.

    Also we have to lock up millions of folks who smoked some weed or crack.

    Besides we are too broke to train more folks and the upper 1% who have all the money don't like to do that type of work.
     
  6. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Um, I'm pretty sure W solved this problem already. What you do here is you take the people who've lost their jobs due to outsourcing and send them to community college. After a year or two of re-training, they become engineers! Piece of cake.
     
  7. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    the ny times article is pretty sad, but i'm sure it would apply to lots of people. the vw plant had to pass on a lot of people who couldn't do 9th grade math.
     
  8. Baqui99

    Baqui99 Contributing Member

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    Some good tidbits from Bill Gross today along these same lines:



    http://www.pimco.com/EN/Insights/Pages/School-Daze-School-Daze-Good-Old-Golden-Rule-Days.aspx
     
  9. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I love the argument that balancing the budget will bring in investment because then companies will have confidence in the stability. so if they don't believe in american stability there are a lot of people looking for work in Greece:rolleyes:
     
  10. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    Math is for the unenlightened. More liberal arts please. America needs more culture. Not people with real, practical technical skills. Brangelina will lead the way!
     
  11. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    That's the problem right there. That and they do things like remove evolution and Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum for what education is left.
     
  12. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I don't have a problem with liberal arts, it teaches you how to think critically. just mix in a little math. also the kids who college isn't for, teach them tech skills, you can start that in high school
     
  13. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    We weren't the most educated with the best workers for decades because of the amount of liberal arts education that people got for most of the 20th century.
     
  14. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Exactly right. Somehow we've reached the point where college isn't for education any longer, it's to prepare for a job. Nobody should know literature, history, geography, music, or art... all they need to know is the job they perform.
     
  15. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

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    In my experience, in my field, technical degrees in the US are much better than most of the world, but they still aren't worth much. In my field, the best trained technical workers, by far, are those that went through the union apprenticeship programs that most unions have dismantled over the past 30 years. IBEW, the main electrical union, still has an apprenticeship program, and the electricians that come out of it are second to none. Most other craft unions haven't had a real apprenticeship program in years. I don't know how we get that back, but targeting that would be much better than printing more technical school/community college degrees.
     
  16. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Careful, wes, someone might think you're a union supporter! ;-)-

    What you said is true, at least from my own experience. My S.O's nephew went through the electrician apprentice program (I think it was the IBEW) and is doing great. No college, but he has a career and a good one. An old friend of mine was a union bricklayer, as was his father and grandfather. The dude knew his stuff. Sadly, he had to move from Texas to continue as a union bricklayer. College isn't for everyone, as Germany has known for a very long time.
     
  17. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    what about junior college programs
     
  18. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Those can be very good, but they aren't on the level wes is talking about, IMO.
     
  19. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

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    They run the gamut. There are some that are pretty good, especially if they have faculty with relevant experience to the field they are teaching. There are some that are a complete waste of $12,000. The union apprenticeship programs that are still around are all better than the best junior college programs.

    I'll take that risk. I'm really neutral on unions. I disagree with a lot of their leaders politically, but I think they've done good in our society. Generally, I think that as long as people aren't forced to join them, unions do more good than they do bad.
     
  20. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

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    Union apprenticeships, from my viewpoint, are enough by themselves to justify the power that unions had (yes, it's past tense on purpose) in our society. A person can get an excellent technical education without going into massive debt, and then he can have a very good chance of getting a stable job that lasts until the day he retires. It's beautiful, really.

    That's precisely what our country is supposed to offer people - but those days are long over. State governments, bolstered by wealthy benefactors, are trashing our unions.

    My little brother is/was a union brickmason but the weakening of the unions up north (and everywhere) has had a pretty negative effect on everyone, including him.

    While, like you, I don't always (or even often) agree with union bosses, I also recognize that unionized labor was one of the best American institutions this country has ever had. There's some bad that comes from them ... but there was a whole hell of a lot of good.
     
    #20 thadeus, Jun 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
    1 person likes this.

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