We often hear that public schools are failing because they do not prepare students for jobs. Employers complain, we are told, that recent graduates are unprepared for the real world of work.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explains what is really going on: "Companies complain that they can't find skilled hires, but they aren't doing much to impact these skills , economics and workforce experts say. U.S. companies have been cutting money for training programs for decades, expecting schools and workers to pick up the slack" (p. B1).
" ... one rough measure, the percentage of staffers at U.S. manufactures dedicated to training and development, has falled by about half from 2006 to 2013, according to research group Bersin by Doloitte" (p. B1).
The WSJ quotes MIT labor economist Paul Osterman's study showing that "manufacturers' spending on training has been essentially flat for the last five years. 'Firms have gotten lazy [about training]. They're looking for somebody else,' such as community colleges, for-profit schools and online courses to that for them." (p. B5)
The WSJ also points out that the number of formal apprenticeship programs "fell about 40% between 2003 and 2013, according to the Labor Department." (p. B5)
WSJ article: Lauren Weber, "Whose job is it to train teachers? Wall Street Journal July 17, 2014, pages B1, B5.