In 20 years, children who are currently digging in sandboxes and hanging upside down from the monkey bars will have the chance to apply for high-tech jobs in Massachusetts. Sadly, however, what many of these children may not have in 20 years are the skills to fill the state’s future jobs.
It’s already a “war for us in terms of recruiting,” Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai Technologies, said recently of finding skilled workers at this year’s Early Childhood Summit.
This skills gap is growing now, choking off the pipeline of future workers, and threatening the state’s economic well-being. It’s a problem that makes a powerful case for improving preschool programs and K-12 education across the state.
A new report — “Closing the Massachusetts Skills Gap: Recommendations and Action Steps” — released by the Commonwealth Corporation provides demographic details, noting that, “Although the Commonwealth’s workforce is the best-educated of all the states, … a very high concentration of our most educated workers are 45 years or older.”
“Our younger workforce is neither large enough, nor well educated enough, to replace those who will soon retire, and young workers between the ages of 16 and 24 are disproportionately unemployed,” the (more…)