The skill gap essentially refers to the difference in the skill set required by an employer for a certain business process and the absence of the same in the labor market or within the organization itself. Arising of a skill gap shows that a company falls behind in competition. This situation has cropped up quick steadily in the recent times. The major skill gap industries are healthcare, engineering sciences and advanced manufacturing. There are certain steps that can be used to identify skill gap within an organization.
- Performing skill testing across the workforce of a company is one of the basic steps towards identifying the skill gap. First, the management needs to identify the existing skill set of the workforce and then match it with the required skill set. If the difference is minimal then it is manageable, but if there is a huge difference between the two, then it calls for serious measures.
- If the organization has a significant amount of baby boomers retiring in the near term, it might attract a skill gap. The baby boomers are the people between the age group of 52 to 70 years who were associated with the process for a long time and have the maximum knowledge. If this section of workforce retires in bulk, then this results in a serious knowledge and communication gap within the remaining workforce. It might also lead to the lack of guidance and support.
- Keeping up with the new technological and skill innovations in the industry and specific markets is crucial for a business to survive. Always looking for fresh talents is not feasible every time. The existing workforce needs to be trained and informed regarding these as well.
- Infrastructural issues may result in skill gap as well. Shortfalls in infrastructure results in lowering the employee satisfaction levels which impacts their performance as well as urge to learn, in turn hampering the skill development process. It might also results in employee resignations.
Hence skill gap can seriously impact the company and workforce together. There are certain measures that can be taken to come out of this scenario.
- A close assessment of the skill gap scenario is very important to begin with. Placement agencies can successfully assist and carry out such assessments in order to understand the issue, infrastructure and management related matters.
- The placement agencies can then chalk out a step by step plan to overcome the situation. It includes considering the budget, analyzing the training content and level, training providers, duration and related elements.
- If the skill gap has arisen or is nearing the business, in both cases, the training should be made compulsory. It should not be kept in sidelines under any circumstances.
- Regular inspections and evaluations helps in keeping track of the developments as well marking the areas of shortfall.
Lastly, involvement of management people in the training programs has a significant impact on successful handling of the issue. When an employee sees that his or her manager or anyone from the leadership is taking part in the process, it channelizes a sense trust and increases the confidence levels.