ASTD Issues Action Plan to Take Charge of the Skills Gap

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New white paper features survey findings, updates data on skills gap, includes impact of recession, Web 2.0, and increase of millennials in the workplace.

Many senior executives are struggling to close skills gaps within their organizations. The Action Plan identified in this white paper provides a process for leaders, managers, and learning professionals to use to successfully manage this challenge.

Communities, states, regions, and entire nations pay a heavy price when workers lack the right skills for critical jobs. While the skills gap has always been a concern for organizations, the global recession complicates an already perplexing issue. Recognizing the extraordinary circumstances, the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) conducted new research and announces the release of the white paper Bridging the Skills Gap: New Factors Compound the Growing Skills Shortage.

The new paper analyzes the multi-layered dimensions of the skills gap in today’s economic climate including the impact of the global recession, the retirement of Baby Boomers in the workforce, Web 2.0 technologies, and the surge of the millennial cohort into the workforce. It includes the results of ASTD’s 2009 Skills Gap Poll taken by 1,179 organizations. More than three quarters of respondents (79%) said there is a skills gap in their organizations.

Bridging the Skills Gap: New Factors Compound the Growing Skills Shortage outlines a six-step action plan to help organizations and individuals deal proactively with the skills gap.

“Recent economic challenges have forced public- and private-sector organizations to execute their strategies with more precision than ever before, and do it with fewer resources, especially people,” says Tony Bingham, ASTD President and CEO. “Many senior executives are struggling to close skills gaps within their organizations. The Action Plan identified in this white paper provides a process for leaders, managers, and learning professionals to use to successfully manage this challenge.”

Learning professionals are strategically positioned to identify the skills and competencies their organizations possess and those needed for the future. The white paper includes eight case studies from Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, EMC Corporation, IBM, McCain Foods Limited, NVR Inc., Steelcase, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. These organizations’ case studies provide best practices to address skills gaps.

An electronic version of Bridging the Skills Gap: New Factors Compound the Growing Skills Shortage can be found at http://www.astd.org/publicpolicy.

About ASTD
ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to the training and development field. In more than 100 countries, ASTD’s members work in organizations of all sizes, in the private and public sectors, as independent consultants, and as suppliers. Members connect locally in 132 U.S. chapters and with 30 international partners. ASTD started in 1943 and in recent years has widened the profession’s focus to align learning and performance to organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues. For more information, visit http://www.astd.org.

ASTD Media Contacts:
Kristen Fyfe 703.683.8192
Jennifer Homer 703.683.8123, jhomer(at)astd(dot)org

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