Is there really a skills shortage? 


Is there really a skills shortage?  I’m not so sure.  I here this so often in more or less every place I go.  It must be true then yet still I’m not so sure.  Aren’t all skills in a dynamic?  It is a very fine balance between having too few skilled people and too many.  Having the right number is very unlikely.  In a market that is rising skills will always be in short supply and once the product or service has peaked out then those skills will be in over abundance.  This is classic supply and demand.

Demand will push wages up which will lead to increased interest will lead to lower wages and lower supply.

Yet nearly two thirds of organisations claim that skill shortage is holding back their growth.  They can’t all be wrong.  Perhaps this tells us that two thirds of companies are working in areas of increasing demand while the others have passed their prime.

Interestingly however, a Gallup poll of over a million employees says that only around twenty percent of people at work believe they get to do what they are good at when at work.  So, only a fifth of us get to use the skills that we have.

Clearly there is some discrepancy here.  Two thirds of companies don’t have the skills yet only one fifth of our skills are being used.

Is the answer obvious then?  The skills that we need to run our businesses are lying dormant among the people we already have.  They just need to be discovered, released, encouraged and developed.

Too often we look for the answers to our problems outside of our own immediate sphere.  Too often we look for simple solutions yet perhaps the solution to our skills shortage lies right under our noses.  Rather than looking for skills from external sources we should work with our teams to develop the skills that we really need for our own businesses.  After all, only we know what they really are.

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