As the world is tackling a life-threatening pandemic situation, the global economy has slowed down and unemployment rates are supposedly increasing. While many countries have always faced the issue of unemployment, a deeper look into this matter is surely needed. The fact that we have such a young population in the world but still most of them are unemployed raises a bunch of questions regarding the root cause for that. Employers state that they want to hire fresh graduates but are forced to go the other way as most graduates lack the skills required in the real market. Most employers usually prefer people with prior field experience or with on-field training such as internships. Graduates lack the real market skills it requires to excel in this world and thus, the employment curves keep getting steeper. Let’s delve deeper into how education can help in bridging the skills gap.
The Core Problem with the Skills Gap
Most employers are found hiring foreign experienced candidates as they believe that local candidates lack the skills for the job. Now, this comes as a real matter for tension as we have lakhs of students graduating every year and ending up jobless, some even with education loans. As we look deeper into this matter, the root cause for this problem arises to be the lack of practical learning in the global education system. A person spends a better half of their life studying but still ends up jobless after years of rigorous study. This tells us that our education system has failed in some way or the other. The main issue here is that the textbooks that are taught to students have been written years ago and they have become outdated in today’s modern world. The world is changing at a rapid pace but the educational system is continuing at their own pace which is resulting in a serious gap between the school learning and the actual skills required today.
For instance, let’s suppose Seri.io is looking for full-stack software developers who can work with mixed reality applications. However, our school system only focuses on the front-end development completely ignoring the back-end skills.
Just like this, there are tons of examples which show us how disturbing it is to find that so many years of education doesn’t train you to do the real work. This is where we need to focus on the role of education in bridging the skills gap.
Finding Possible Solutions through Educational Reforms
After learning about this problem, it has become clear that the root cause for this is the lack of proper training in the education system. So, the solution also comes out of the education system only. But the core issue is how education can help in bridging the skills gap. This has gotten many industry leaders to think about the vital need for collaboration between industry players and educational institutions. The need for educational reforms is now more than ever as it is the only solid way of reducing unemployment in the long term. After recognising the need for on the job training, Singapore has initiated work-out programmes through SkillsFuture brought forward by the country’s ministry of education. This programme is mainly built to focus on the skill training of graduates from the Institute of Technical Education and Polytechnics.
Just like this, Germany also has a vocational education training system which uses a combination of apprenticeships and in-class learning in order to produce highly skilled workers.
These are some examples of how universities can co-design curricula with the help of different companies. However, this program also has some loopholes as there is absence of an industry-wide effort to make skill education a success in the education system.
One of the best examples for this is Singapore’s incredible initiative called as SkillsFuture which has more than 30 courses under its WSDeg program which aims at providing the students with necessary real-life skills such as business strategy, information technology. Employers believe this initiative to be a real good start especially for the students as they get their degree with practical exposure to the real-world skills. Many industries and CEO’s have appreciated this and believe that such programs need to be started worldwide in order to walk towards the path of solving the problem of unemployment.
Thus, countries around the world are certainly working towards tackling unemployment by addressing how education can bridge the skills gap. India still has a long way to go in bringing better skill-oriented policies for the youth to help them master the essential skills rather than emphasising on theoretical learning! Keep watching this space for more such news updates on the global education sphere and don’t forget to check out our Leverage Edu blogs on careers, courses and more!