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Ill-Prepared for the Future

Date: 10/04/2006 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

Any of us who have had to hire employees in the past few years have probably been inundated with a pile of applications and resumes. That’s always a good thing. Unfortunately, actually finding qualified employees from that potential pool of applicants usually proves to be more challenging. Even finding employees that seem to posses the most basic skill set – reading, writing and arithmetic – can prove frustrating.

The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management recently conducted a survey of 431 human resource professionals and found a few disturbing trends. Primarily those new entrants to the workforce appear to be inadequately prepared in even the basic “3 R’s”.

Of those responding, the survey found that:

  • 70% cited deficiencies in high school graduates in skills, such as professionalism, work ethic and basic work habits such as punctuality, working productively with others, time and workload management.
  • More than 4 out of 10 stated that high school graduates hired were inadequately prepared for even entry-level jobs.
  • 8 out of 10 said that their high school graduate hires were deficient in written communications.

Educators, policy makers and those concerned with U.S. economic competitiveness need to take note of the ill-preparedness of our new entrants into the workforce. If they continue to lack the ability to demonstrate higher levels of excellence, how will the U.S. be able to successfully compete in the global market?

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