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30 September
2014

Skills

Youth


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Bridging the Information Gap in the U.S. Labor Market


Felix W. Ortiz III, Viridis Learning

This report was featured as a chapter in ‘Overcoming the Youth Employment Crisis : Strategies from Around the Globe’, a joint report co-authored by the global partners of JustJobs Network.

Globalization, propelled by technological change, is fueling a restructuring of economic activity that is changing the demand for skills in labor markets around the world. In the United States as in many other countries, this has led to a mismatch between the skills that the labor market demands and the available supply of trained individuals. A lack of information on the changing needs of the labor market, and how and where people can obtain the relevant skills is partly to blame.

These challenges have inspired government to expand training and apprenticeship programs to close the skill gap, especially for young people that are facing some of the worst employment prospects in recent history. But given scale of the challenge and the types of valuable market information they possess, private sector stakeholders can also play a key role. Offering young people a platform to access information on the skills that employers demand and find relevant training opportunities is one way the private sector can help. Better information on the dynamic needs of the labor market can aid young people in obtaining relevant skills, finding jobs and ultimately improving their long-term career prospects.

First, thisreport explores how the information gap impedes youth from acquiring the foundational skills, necessary resources and credentials from educational institutions to realize their full employment potential. As a result, individuals are frequently denied access to available jobs that could maximize and leverage their vocational potential. Next, this chapter discusses an innovative approach by a private sector company – Viridis Learning – that helps bridge this critical information gap.


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