Tuesday, November 09, 2010

"Skilled Workers"

"The US educational system has been a disastrous failure from the standpoint of training skilled workers in the crucial trades -- the foundations of an advanced high-tech infrastructure. By attempting to channel all students into a 4 year college track -- and neglecting the trades -- US schools have wasted the potential talent of generations of students. As the US educational establishment becomes further ossified under the control of a massive incestuous political machine involving public sector unions and ideologues at both the federal level and the university school of education level, any hope for salvaging the newer generations of prospective skilled work is slipping through the US' fingers."

Because if you think about it, who really wants to hire "unskilled workers?"


Rick Caird said...

For years, I have been saying we need to return to the idea of vocational high schools. Not only does not everyone want or need a college degree, the schools no longer offer a program for those who are not interested in further schooling.

Vocational alternatives is very likely to significantly reduce the dropout rate and make it less expensive for employers to hire young adults who already have a start on being trained.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's education's role to produce good workers; its role is to produce good citizens.

If employers want skilled workers, there are plenty of things they can do to get them. Skilled workers are made, not born. Employers have no right to demand that the state train workers for them. That's the responsibility of the employer, and shirking that responsibility is as reprehensibly parasitic as a worker who prefers to stay on the dole rather than work. Those who want skilled workers need only hire unskilled workers and turn them into skilled workers.

John said...

If your toilet plugs up at 11 at night you want a plumber not a political scientist.

One country which has (or had - I haven't lived there in a number of years) a good educational system was the Netherlands. There were plenty of universities for those who wanted to study science and engineering rigorously, and for those who wanted to think deep thoughts (i.e. goof off), but there were also three-year trades colleges which trained technicians and technologists, and three-year business colleges which trained students for work in business. Both were good, and their graduates were very employable.

You can imagine what the curricula of the trades colleges were. The business colleges offered a mix of language training (important for a small country in western Europe which hasn't very much industry but is important in commerce and finance), some economics, some accounting, a little business law, etc. The mix was not available in any university, and was tailored, as I say, to the needs of Dutch businessmen and workers in business offices.

Here in St. John's NL the trades college is effective in training people for the marine trades, which of course the local university doesn't touch. If you want a big salary you go to the trades college and go to sea, or to the Alberta oil sands.

Anonymous said...

Also due to the supply and demand situation, the hours college grads work have sky rocketed, and the pay is very low. Meanwhile, a trades guy works an 8 hour day, and gets overtime pay past an eight hour shift. The trade guy tends to have a much higher over all pay, then a new college grad. There is a surplus of collage grads receiving low pay. There is a shortage of skilled workers earning higher pay.
This seems to be a modern problem of the Western World. No one wants to do real work. Everyone wants to be a white collar worker. Even if the money is better, in the skilled profession.

Anonymous said...

Employers have no right to demand that the state train workers for them. That's the responsibility of the employer, and shirking that responsibility is as reprehensibly parasitic as a worker who prefers to stay on the dole rather than work

I think you've misunderstood why employers do that. Remember how absurd anti-discrimination law is these days. One you've trained the employee, you can't test them to see if they've learned what you've taught because that would be discriminatory. Just ask the Boston FD. Ergo, third-party training or education becomes the employer's proxy, because the employee can't claim discrimination then.

Anonymous said...

Well the company I work for is hiring low skilled, non-skilled and inexperienced people for peanuts which can barely follow scripts while dumping highly-skilled and highly-experienced professionals as fast as they can.

However, customers and clients are bucking at high labor rates my company is charging for the poor quality, poor productivity and total ineptitude of the cheap labor. Lawsuits have been filed, customers are ending contracts, yet the execs still think that people resources are fungible.

So if you're unskilled, or have a worthless degree, you can be hired by my company - if it survives long enough to hire you.

Anonymous said...

One thing I think the education industry fails is that it doesn't do a very good job in teaching people how to figure out things by themselves and how to build skills on their own.

Education just gives you the foundations on which you must build on by yourself.