Study: Employers Lack Programs for 'Ill-Prepared' Workforce

July 14, 2009
Companies not offering enough support for underskilled new hires

Nearly half of 217 employers responding to a survey published July 14 said they have to provide readiness training for their workers and that their programs have low success rates.

"The results of this study demonstrate how critical it is for companies to be more strategic and focused on efforts, such as providing internships and working in partnership with community colleges on workforce readiness initiatives to prepare new entrants before they enter the workplace," said Donna Klein, executive chair for Corporate Voices for working families, which partnered with The Conference Board, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and the Society for Human Resource Management on the report.

Employers are waiting too long to begin training new hires, Klein said. Companies that are most successful with workforce readiness programs provide a culture committed to training and thorough job-readiness screening, partner with local colleges and focus on integrating training with job-specific skills, constantly re-evaluate the program to align training with company needs, according to the report entitled "The Ill-Prepared Workforce: Exploring the Challenges of Employer-Provided Workforce Readiness Training."

"In any economy, having a knowledgeable, skilled workforce is critical for organizations to grow and be successful," said Tony Bingham, ASTD president and CEO. "As the skills gap widens among new entrants to the workforce, it's clear that all stakeholders -- employers, education and the public workforce system -- must collaborate to effectively prepare workers to be successful on the job."

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