As The Wall Street Journal reported last Fall, “Amid anxiety about the disappearance of factory jobs, thousands of them are going unfilled across the U.S.  The number of open manufacturing jobs has been rising since 2009, and this year stands at the highest level in 15 years, according to Labor Department data.”

 In a most interesting article by Max Nisen, “The Growing Skills Gap, Explained In Three Charts,” published in BUSINESS INSIDER we read:

There’s high youth unemployment around the world, despite a multitude of job vacancies.

 Blame the skills shortage, which 39 percent of employers say is preventing them from filling entry level jobs, according to a McKinsey report. Meanwhile in most of the world, less than half of students think their educations prepare them for employment.
 Employers know what we’re doing isn’t working. Students know it as well. But educational institutions apparently don’t, which may be preventing them from making needed changes, .   .  .

 In an accompanying chart entitled, “How Young People Prefer to Learn,” the percent of respondents saying a particular learning technique is effective broke down as follows:

  • On-the-job Training =       62%
  • Hands-on Learning =       58%
  • Multimedia =       54%
  • Seminars =                46%
  • Traditional Lecture =       30%
  • Distance Learning =          30%

And, reading is not the only basic skill workers are lacking.  Millions cannot perform the simple mathematical problems now required in their jobs. 

How did we reach this crisis?  The reasons are many and varied:  a high school dropout rate of almost 35%;  an education system that fails to recognize the shift in our nation’s learning culture;  and, a large influx of immigrants who have not learned sufficient English to fully function — to name but a few.

It is no secret that America is experiencing a basic skills knowledge crisis today.

While there are a plethora of ways to address this problem, a major solution is readily available for those of us tasked with training adults in our corporate settings.  I’m talking about multimedia learning (the highly rated third choice of the aforementioned student survey).

You’ve seen me emphasize again and again:  “Most people are visual learners when it comes to skills acquisition.  ‘Seeing’, ‘hearing’, and ‘doing’ – in combination – is still the best way.” 

The Basic Skills Gap, so prevalent in our country, can be successfully addressed — and, one of the better solutions resides within the best of multimedia learning.  Learning that is fully rooted in full-motion video and optional word-for-word audio.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

      — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

     March 13, 2017  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


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