Today is the day that – every year – employers can begin to file applications for H-1B visas. Today is also the day that – every year – enough applications will be filed to exceed that cap; applications filed will likely more than double the 85,000 annual limit to H-1Bs issues each year, clearly proving this is an arbitrary number that is completely unresponsive to employer demand.
In a recent study by the Manufacturing Institute 66 percent of manufacturing executives said that when looking for engineers, researcher and scientists “finding candidates to enter the initial screening process” was by far the largest challenge they faced – more than “Offering compensation that appeals to qualified applicants” or “Making position requirements appeal to qualified talent.” Meaning that it is easier to create a positive work environment and provide a competitive salary, than it is to actually find someone to apply at all.Other findings:
FACT – 82 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of highly skilled applicants.
FACT – By 2020 the skills shortage in engineers will have increased by 15 percent.
FACT – By 2020 the skills shortage for researchers and scientists will have increased by 9 percent
Immigration is not the answer to the skills gap, but it can be a tool. We must focus public and private efforts on educating and training our domestic workforce at all skill levels. Manufacturers spend on average $1,500 per employee, per year on training, and yet the fact remains that there are just not enough people with the basic skills to fill the growing need for technical workers. Manufacturers need access to a skilled workforce and falsely limiting the amount of highly-skilled workers that employers can hire is limiting the productivity of American manufacturing.
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