The middle skill job market is facing a massive shortfall in talent. Today, 54 percent of U.S. jobs are middle skill jobs, providing vital services such as lab technicians, air traffic controllers, computer operators, paramedics, and a host of others. Yet only 44 percent of workers are qualified to handle them. The number of middle skill jobs is expected to increase by 2.5 million, but the dearth of workers with the requisite skills to fill them is a big headache to employers. More than 50 percent of companies report that it is becoming increasingly hard to find skilled workers to fill their open positions.
These middle skill jobs may require a certificate, training or apprenticeship program, or an associate’s degree. But the one thing they all insist on is a high school diploma. And some 40 million working adults do not possess one.
It might surprise you to know that one in five working adults today lack a high school diploma. As a result, many workers do not have the critical reasoning skills needed to tackle middle skill jobs.
And that’s where employers can help bridge the gap. An increasing number of businesses recognize that helping their workers gain foundational education, such as a GED diploma, is not only good corporate citizenship, it is critical to meeting the growing number of middle skill jobs in their industries.
In 2015, GED Testing Service collaborated with a group of large, national employers to create a new program specifically designed to meet the unique needs of working adults who to want to earn their GED® diploma. For workers, being able to earn their high school equivalency diploma while continuing to earn a living can be life-changing. Many struggle financially and have families to support. This program provides them with an option to pursue their education and meet their obligations.
Employer involvement benefits companies in numerous ways. Businesses with a stake in their workers’ education and advancement see greater employee retention and recruiting, and they enjoy reputations in the wider community as good corporate citizens. In an economy where demand far outstrips supply, taking an active stake in their employees’ education is not just a morale building exercise; it is sound business sense.
To learn more about upskilling frontline workers, including unique challenges they face and some of the best practices learned to date when serving those workers, download the whitepaper authored by GED Testing Service with insights from the founding GEDWorks™ employers.