Job market dystopia

Could well be a commentary on the UK:

Even if your own employment situation is rosy, you could probably add similar stories of your own. Perhaps it’s a spouse in mid-career transition who keeps running up against web-based applicant-management systems that request irrelevant minutia like high-school GPA. It could be a sibling flummoxed by an inflexible offer for an advanced-practice nursing job that pays less than an entry-level RN can make doing shift work.

Or maybe you’re despairing over your daughter’s chances of scoring an unpaid internship as a stepping stone to full-time work—in which case, don’t read the next sentence. According to Penn Career Services director Patricia Rose, internships have become the hottest new items at elite prep-school fundraiser auctions, where parents are literally buying plum summer positions for their kids.

Anecdotes like these, Cappelli says, are just the tip of an iceberg of troubling data. In his latest book, Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It (Wharton Digital Press, 2012), he explores America’s dysfunctional jobs market and concludes that the skills gap—at least as it’s most commonly formulated (“Schools aren’t giving kids the right kind of training. The government isn’t letting in enough high-skill immigrants. The list goes on and on”)—isn’t really to blame.

“The real culprits,” he contends, “are the employers themselves.”

Is it the employers?

2 Responses to “Job market dystopia”

  1. ivan January 16, 2013 at 19:50 Permalink

    To answer your question, maybe and maybe not.

    If it is as depicted in the article then I would say the biggest problem is Wharton professor Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management and his comrades. Most people in academia that are anything to do with teaching management have never been near a working company for any time long enough to find out how things work in the real world. They are not qualified to do the job they are doing by virtue of never having a real job doing what they are supposed to teach.

    Most of the examples of bad practices given in the article are the results of management consultants ‘solving’ problems that did not exist as well as pushing the idea that all openings need workers with degrees. In that respect the UK is heading along that path with the NHS requiring nurses to have a degree. All a degree does is show that someone was able to regurgitate information in a form that the professor liked, not that they know the subject or, for that matter, are truly qualified.

  2. James Higham January 16, 2013 at 20:10 Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more.

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