The Skills Gap Down Under

By October 18, 2007Education and Training

From Phil Rennie, a policy analyst at the Centre for Independent Studies, an Australian think-tank, “Is University Necessary for All?”

Universities used to be elite institutions for only the brightest of students but since the 1960s the number of tertiary students has increased 10-fold. This reflects a now common view that going to university is the only way to have a successful and rewarding career.

But despite billions of dollars in extra government funding, there is still a serious mismatch between graduate numbers and the shortages in the trades. Anyone who’s struggled to find a builder or a plumber knows all about this.

The tragedy is that there are thousands of young people with good practical skills and smarts who could be making a great career for themselves. Instead too many of them are sitting in a lecture theatre at university for three years, doing courses they don’t particularly enjoy.

The trades have suffered from an image problem over the years but they offer satisfying and creative work, good money and the chance to start your own business.

The economic difficulties posed by the “skills gap” are evident in advanced industrial economies throughout the world.

In Europe.
In Britain (thank goodness for the Poles!).
Even South Africa.

For the United States, we respectfully direct you to the Dream It. Do It. campaign.

(Thanks to George Leef for the article from Australia.)

Leave a Reply