The Government Shouldn't Train Unskilled Workers

Jenny Erikson

job interviewOne would think that with unemployment so high, recruiting viable candidates for jobs would be a piece of cake. In an economy where jobs are scarce, shouldn’t there be a plethora of out-of-workers from which to collect resumes and conduct interviews and eventually hire someone?

Yet businesses like Siemens (a Germany-based engineering group) are recruiting from other companies as well as investing in education and training to fulfill their staffing needs. Why? U.S. chief executive Eric Spiegel explains:

There’s a mismatch between the jobs that are available, at least in our portfolio, and the people that we see out there. There is a shortage [of workers with the right skills].

Siemens is hardly alone. Fifty-two percent of leading U.S. companies reportedly struggle to fill essential staff positions. That’s right -- more than half of businesses are having a hard time finding quality employees.

What are our schools teaching our kids, if not the skills to become productive members of society? Isn’t that the goal? Isn’t that why we have public education – how we justify the expense to the general public?

The Obama administration is now working with the think-tank Manufacturing Institute to nationally expand the Skills for America’s Future program. The goal is to offer more training, workforce developments, and job placements for people lacking the skills to find work in industry.

We don’t need another government program to fix this problem -- we need to fix the problems we already have. Education in our country is a mess, yet for some reason we’re regulating school lunches instead of fixing the actual problem. Right. Because offering kids sushi instead of corn dogs is going to prepare them to eventually enter the workforce.

Ronald Reagan said, "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem," and it still rings true today. By creating another spending program that may or may not work, we’re just going to be putting our kids further into debt, with no guarantee of success. After all, we invested in public education to make sure our kids were ready for the workforce, but apparently that hasn’t been working as well as hoped for. 

People on unemployment don’t need a job-training program. They need to go to the library and study up about what it is they want to do. They need to call people in the industry and ask them about it, and ask to observe them. They need to get off their hineys and do what needs to be done to reenter the workforce.

The government can’t provide someone with economic salvation. In America, you are welcome to find it yourself.


Image via bpsusf/Flickr

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