The global shortage of skilled workers

On the whole world, skilled manual workers are among the most wanted professions. In 31 countries manual workers were in the top ten ranking of the most desirable occupations.


Shortage of specialists such as plumbers, masons, electricians and welders is a challenge for the world’s largest economies. In 15 countries, including the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany and France, skilled manual workers are on the first place among the most sought after professions.

A big problem associated with deficiency of workers exists in Asia. In the Asia Pacific region, talent shortages are the biggest since 2006. In the space of last six years, the increase was 17 percentage points high. The labor market in this region clearly becomes more competitive and its specificity is the growing difficulty in finding workers.

The government and trade unions should take effective measures to prevent further increase in the shortage of skilled workers. For all companies difficulties in recruiting manual workers could have a negative impact on future economic growth of all countries affected by this problem.

The provisional answer to the shortage of skilled workers is forcing us to create a strategy aimed at raising the prestige of physical labor in society.



8 thoughts on “The global shortage of skilled workers

  1. I agree that the shortage may be partly to do with the negative social class connotations surrounding the manual sector. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of people attending university to get a degree and enable them to then try and find a ‘good’ job. I think modern day society doesn’t place a high enough value on manual work and it is often seen as a last resort career even though many aspects are dependent on a high level of skill. Society’s attitude seems to be that even if you are in the lowest skilled position in an office, you have a more socially prestigious job than someone working at the highest skill level in the manual sector. Raising the social perception of jobs in this area is, in my opinion, one of the approaches that will be most effective in boosting the number of participants in the manual labour market and reducing the shortage we are currently faced with.

  2. I totally agree with the former reply. I think a big reason for this shortage is becouse of the negative status these kind of jobs have. I know that this is a problem in Sweden as well, or maybe not a “problem” jet, but there is a concern about the issue for the future. That to few people chose this kind of educations and jobs now and instead are getting a higher degree in a “good” job area, and for that reason in the future the will be a lack of of skilled manual workers. And in sweden these kind of manual jobs are well payed in comperance with watch is considered “good” maybe office jobs. The way to go I think is to try to get the status of these jobs higher, and to get people to not look down on them.

  3. The text shows that there will be a big problem for a lot of countries if they do not find more skilled workers. I think one problem that is also mentioned in the text is the prestige of these jobs. Especially in western countries but i think also in Asian countries these jobs are not respected or have no high prestige. It is hard to thrill young people for this kind of jobs. Also the payment in some countries is not high. Maybe also the restrictions for some of these jobs are too high. Due to this the young people decide against these jobs and see their future in more prestigeful jobs. But at the moment there is a high youth unemployment rate all over the world. These young people who cannot find a job can be thrilled for a job like this if the payment gets better and the restrictions will get lower. I think if the prestige of these jobs rises the problem can be solved.

  4. This is a very interesting topic! In Austria I recognise there is also a tendency to go to university and generally into higher education among the younger people.
    This is probably because of this new society thinking, that higher educated jobs are more valuable in society. But in Austria these construction jobs are also well paid in comparison and in rural areas there are a lot of people working in this field and they have no problems of disrespect in society. I am the opinion that this thinking is mainly in the city areas, as I can see in my country and in rural areas these jobs are in demand and people are happy with their jobs.

  5. This is interesting. I also think that the term manual workers is loaded with a negative influence. It’s (hardly) no one’s dream to become a manual worker. On the other hand, as I see in Holland for example, there aren’t a lot of domestic manual workers, but there are a lot manual workers from Poland and other countries with lower weights. But I don’t think this is in the statistics because it is illegal. But, in my opinion you can’t forse people to become something. Sure, the government can make ik more attractive to become a manual worker (better education, better working conditions). But if this not work, I think it’s a good solution to give the jobs to immigrants that are workless or poor in their own country.

  6. I agree with most comments that the manual workers don’t get the respect that they deserve for their job. It’s more common in most countries that the people who went to universities and get office jobs get more respect. But on the other hand I think that is just the general overview of how people look at the manual workers. There are a lot of people that do respect manual workers
    On the other hand I think that another reason to not do manual labour has to do with the wage and with the health issues.
    I think that the wage isn’t high enough for manual labour.
    Also some jobs can be very intensive physically. I think that sometimes that can scare people of as well. Because you can’t do those jobs if you have an injury. Whereas office jobs are more easy to do with an injury.

  7. In the Netherlands gives this a problem for the economic. Many people prefere a job on the office and don’t like manual work. The government anticipates that in the year 2016 170.000 manual workers to few. The minister want to spend 100 million to solve this problem, but it’s not about the money. People are laughing about this kind of jobs but it’s really specific work. The ministers want to make technical training more attractive and by a better mix of theory and practice. The main problem of these jobs is that they are not paying well, its physically hard and the immigrants can do these jobs as well. But than you have another problems. And increase the salary is also not possible for that reason. The highschools are important in this problem, they can take the students to the companies and show them what you can create and make.


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