In 2018, the national unemployment rate averaged 3.9 percent, the lowest the country has seen in decades. At the same time, many industries have felt the pain of a lack of qualified talent. Although these two statements may seem at odds with one another, the reality is that some industries are facing a significant skills gap.

The skills gap could widen over time

According to research from LinkedIn, the global talent shortage could impact 85.2 million workers, leading to $8.5 trillion in unrealized revenue. For industries such as manufacturing, the challenge is twofold:

  • Veteran workers are retiring at a rapid pace, increasing the risk of lost knowledge.
  • New workers lack the skills and experience necessary to maintain the productivity levels of the previous generation.

Some companies are combating this situation by investing in technology to capture the knowledge of retiring workers before it's too late to do so. This knowledge can then be formalized into training modules for incoming employees. Likewise, technologies like augmented reality are making it easier to train new hires and get them up to speed. 

Other industries, such as IT and communications, face a similar challenge. The pace of technology evolution is so rapid that few college graduates possess the skills necessary to compete at the global level. For example, many tech companies are increasing their investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, the number of college graduates with relevant skills isn't keeping up with the pace of demand. These organizations will need to reassess their talent acquisition strategies as they face fiercer competition for highly skilled workers.

Will your industry feel the pain of the global skills gap? Check out our infographic below to learn more:

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