Thursday, September 11, 2014

Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main?

By Paul Chen

Arguments for more Vocational training in Poland and even your country

When I was younger, my parents told me in order to have a good future, you must go to a good college and get a degree.  With a diploma in hand you will be able to get a good job and you will be able to support your family and have a good life.  After the last economic crisis, this contract is no longer valid.  Upward social mobility is getting more difficult to achieve.  However, there are still millions of students going to universities hoping to graduate and get a job.  The last few graduating classes are quite possibly the first that had graduated without a good job prospect.  It is a global problem. 

There are many students in Poland who are in universities or other higher institutions of learning just to say that they are going through the motions because there are a big push for this.  Many of them are getting degrees that will not turn into good job prospects.  In good economic times, degrees of language philology, culture studies, and art history might land you a decent job.  However, in a post crisis economy, you will be lucky to be waiting tables after graduation.  Such pushes is good for governments and educational institutions to be able to boast high graduation rates and get funding.  However, it can also push up unemployment numbers as well, especially if the students graduate without a job in hand. 

So what to do?

Watch this:

 These days there are a lot of emphasis on developing high tech startups and awesome apps for your smart device, clever gadgets like the new Apple Watch and the internet of things is set to automate our homes and make it very smart.   On the Death Star, they have awesome sensors and a planet destroying laser cannon.   However, the Death Star needs to be wired to do so.  But they still have to defecate somewhere.  Who is going to feed the storm troopers and Darth Vader?  Who will keep it clean? Who will do the wiring?  Who will do the actual building of the Empire's ultimate weapon?

The results of the ninth Manpower Group 2014 Talent Shortage Survey show that skilled manual workers are the occupation with the biggest lack of workforce. Among the most wanted there are: welders, fitters, machinists, assemblers, forklift operators, mechanics and electricians.  “The employees’ shortage is due to the elimination of vocational training in the Polish education system in the ’90. We also observe the lack of engineers”, commented PAIiIZ president SÅ‚awomir Majman.

What is the main reason for the professionals’ shortage? As the survey shows, environmental and organizational factors have the strongest impact on this situation. The lack of technical skills has been described as the major problem by 35% of global companies and 50% of employers in Poland. Also the lack of proper candidates and the lack of experience have been reported.

We live in a society that places a high value on the professions and white-collar jobs, and that still considers blue-collar work lower status. In her report on vocational education, Professor Alison Wolf concluded that jobs like plumbing, carpentry, electrics – you know, the useful ones in society – have been downgraded in social status over the years, a situation she said must be amended if we are going to solve the huge youth unemployment problem.

There might be a reason why your child isn’t feeling motivated with or failing that academic subject.  It could be learning disabilities, or it could be that academia isn’t his area of interest.  However, if you put a pair of pliers, a pan, or a hammer in his hands, he will perform miracles.  Educator, Howard Gardner say that we all have different intelligences.  Most people have more than one.   Because of that, we can use it to find the things that interest us the most or help us learn where our talents are and make a viable career out of it. 

A Proposal

What need to be done is to reinstate vocational programs in Poland, nationwide to give young people a choice of vocation or academia.  A well-regulated apprenticeship program should also be available where certain criterias must be met before an apprentice will gain a qualified status.  That way, you don’t have young people thinking that they know everything about a certain field after three months of training.  Furthermore, it will help the market gain credibility.  You are sure to get a qualified electrician when you call for one.  Of course, some core academic subjects should be taught as well as an introductory course on running a business.

With such programs in place turning out qualified workers, you also get better built houses with good plumbing and safe wiring that could cut down on energy costs. 

What does it have to do with startups?

Randal Graves’ argument says it all.  You want your hardware factory to work well.  If you want your server to work properly, you need a good technician to wire your data center well.  You need a good plumber or HVAC technician to make sure the air conditioners work well.  You don’t want water leaking on your electronic systems or have a short or a surge in the electrical grid that will knock out the electricity in the city or region.  No matter how great your startup is, without a solid infrastructure, it will not succeed.

Thank you for reading another one of my posts done just for you!  If you liked what you read please share it by using one of the buttons up top and check out other posts in this blog.  I don’t want you to miss out on future posts so please follow me on Twitter @Eurodude23 If you haven’t done it already, please like my fan page by clicking here See you next time!


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