This Sunday’s 60 Minutes, “3 Million Open Jobs in the U.S., but who’s qualified?”, highlighted the Skills Gap in US Manufacturing Workforce and the desperate need for a solution. Ryan Costella, head of Strategic Initiatives at Click Bond, identified it as mainly an entry level problem for his industry and that applicant’s don’t have the basic skill sets; like showing up on time, reading, writing, basic math, problem solving skills. Many he says, come of “higher ed with degrees who can’t put a sentence together without a major grammatical error”
As I watched the program, I couldn’t help but think; What about in Biotech? Do we see the same skills gap in our industry or is it a different one for us?
Is it the entry level worker who doesn’t have the aptitude and desired training that we see a skills gap for, or is it the higher educated, specialized worker that we are unable to identify for our jobs? Due to the vast diversity in technical positions and the complexity of the products or research being done in many biotech’s, I tend to see the gap in that mid-level role, more so than the entry level worker, but that may just be from my point of view.
The other question that was implied by the program was; who is responsible for training our workforce? Is it the Employer’s role and responsibility to hire and the train their workforce, or should they expect a trained workforce for them to hire? If not, who’s responsibility is it to create a trained and educated workforce available to meet the demands of our Biotech economy?
I couldn’t think of a better group to discuss this problem with and to share various potential solutions for the biotech industry. Do we see the same skills gap? How far have we come towards a solution? Are we on the right track? If not, what’s stopping us and what is the right solution?
I’m sure the answers are as deep and complex as our industry itself…
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