Monday, November 05, 2012

Peak Skills: The Real "Peak" Crisis is Demographic

“It’s a demographic timebomb,” says Christopher Smillie, a senior advisor of the Canadian Building Trades, which represents more than 550,000 skilled tradespeople in 15 trades across the country. ...“Everybody wants their daughter to go be a doctor and not a millwright or a welder,” says Mr. Smillie.... _FP
Very low birthrates in the advanced industrial countries is leading to a critical shortage in necessary manpower skills. This shortage of skilled manpower has already slowed production across several industrial sectors on national and regional scales. On a global scale, the problem is likely to get much worse, as wealthier and more advanced regions "siphon off" skilled workers from third world and emerging markets.
From 2010 to 2018, construction employment is forecast to rise by 180,000 jobs. Added to these demands are replacements for retirements of 189,000, and the loss of 26,000 workers due to mortality, Mr. Smillie told a standing committee on human resources earlier in the year.

“There are 169,000 new entrants from the Canadian population to meet these needs, leaving a recruiting effort to find 200,000 new construction workers from other industries and outside Canada. If this isn’t a call to action for the committee I’m not sure what is.”

Faced with inadequate training in schools, the Canadian Building Trades spends about $100-million a year on training young recruits. That’s in addition to the millions of dollars construction companies spend on training domestic supply. _FP
The problem is not just in Canada, and it is not just in construction. The shortage of skilled manpower affects all aspects of the technological leading edge of industrial and post-industrial nations.

Modern educational systems are poorly adapted to supply this gaping shortage of skilled workers and technologists.

One of the most ironic aspects of this emerging clusterf*ck is that Germany's educational system is one of the best adapted to fill this need -- and yet the government of Germany has chosen a path of energy starvation which is driving its industries overseas! Ironic is much too weak a term to describe how Germany's government is working at cross-purposes to the needs of its people and its economy.

Wise parents will encourage their children to learn and master a wide range of practical skills, in addition to the normal academic core. This will make them more adaptable than their competition. It will also open their minds to potential innovations which might make them wealthy, as entrepreneurs.



Blogger Benjamin said...

Millwrights in SoCal can about write their own ticket--$75 an hour.

Who wants to be a millwright?

Supply and demand. Wages go high enough and we will see enough millwrights.

8:06 PM  

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