How Companies Like Apple Are Trying to Close the Skills Gap

Kristina Finseth

 

We’ve been talking about the skills gap for a little while now, and it’s clear that that gap isn’t closing any time soon. Some of the industries hit the hardest by the skills gap include manufacturing, technology, engineering, and healthcare.

With approximately 7.2 million unemployed individuals in the U.S., you’ve probably heard people talking about how to solve the skills gap. They say things like, companies should just fill their open and often highly skilled positions with some of the millions of job-seekers in need of employment.

In theory, this sounds like a great solution, but the problem isn’t in the number of people available – it’s in the skills. That’s why companies like Apple are doing what they can to try and close the skills gap as much as humanly possible.

Here’s a look at what some companies are doing.

Apple formed a new $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs. According to this TechCrunch article, “80 percent of U.S. manufacturers are facing a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions in their facilities.” And, this isn’t Apple’s first rodeo as they previously invested $100 million into creating the “Made in the USA” campaign, moving a huge portion of Mac manufacturing to Texas.

It will be interesting to see the reveal of Apple’s first investments from the fund in late May, and the impact it will have on the promotion of advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Google partners with startup companies to amplify on-demand learning for critical skills. Companies like Coursera are partnering with large and reputable organizations, namely Google, to offer the unemployed or underemployed workforce educational opportunities that are government-sponsored development programs.

Through the help of these learning companies, job-seekers can become equipped with high-need skills in the areas of computer-related fields and data science. In turn, companies like Google, IBM, and PwC can fill some of their open positions, minimizing the effects of the nationwide skills gap.

Companies like JPMorgan, Walmart, and Prudential Support the National Fund. The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is a coalition of over 400 funders, working closely with employers and community organizations to customize and align skills training with what the job needs are requiring across multiple regions.

Since inception, the National Fund has helped more than 50,000 job-seekers develop new skills to find employment. In more recent news, the National Fund launched a large-scale retail initiative to build greater opportunity for retail workers across the nation with a $2.8 million grant from Walmart.

These are just a few of the ways companies are working to minimize the prevalent skills gap here in the United States.

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What do you think will help minimize the skills gap in the U.S.?