designship tagline: the power of apprenticeship and design
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April 17, 2018

How to Close the Skills Gap: Job Readiness

You may have trouble defining “job readiness.” What defines “job readiness” and how can I best position myself to advance? Apprenticeship does just that for both apprentices and organizations. Apprentices advance and lead within organizations, and companies invest in their employees to become the next generation of effective leaders. Whether you’re a designer fresh out of school or you work in a company that involves skilled design, you may have first-hand experience grappling with training and development. Job readiness is a growing problem in today’s market where even “qualified” candidates tend to be lacking the right set of business leadership skills that organizations are looking for. Apprenticeship takes an industry-wide approach to meet specific job competencies organizations require in today’s workplace. Apprenticeship closes the skills gap. That’s why a program like DesignshipSM makes so much sense. Designship, offered in conjunction with Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), ensures a company’s employees fit into their organization’s culture, possess the right set of skills, and advance their leadership and management capabilities all through providing promising young designers with a structured, educational setting.

Here are a few ways you can find your place to fill the gaps in the working world of design:

1. Recognize that even you can be affected by the skills gap
While the skills gap may only seem like a problem for recent design grads, the truth is that it can be a problem at any point in your career. True, those in entry-level design positions are finding it hard to keep up with specific skill requirements. But there are the business owners who are having a hard time finding qualified candidates despite the number of people out there looking. Companies need to think outside the box when addressing their skill challenges. There are countless resources available to help develop your employees’ talent without sacrificing your bottom line. Taking advantage of these resources and implementing a more flexible career path based on skills development, allows your organization more opportunities to deploy staff in various roles where their skills are in demand.

2. Take advantage of your resources
Both new design hires and businesses alike need to understand that it takes more than a day or two to learn new technologies and ways of doing things. This is perhaps the biggest misstep when it comes to the onboarding process. Somewhere along the line, there was a miscommunication where businesses are assuming that potential hires learned everything they need to know in school. Many times, this just isn’t true. Just because something was taught one way, the company may have a totally different system that works for them. An apprenticeship program can really benefit all parties in situations like this. It will provide new hires with tools for success, which in turn increases the company’s return on investment.

3. Understanding soft skills vs hard skills
Hard technical skills are only part of what’s missing for many entry-level employees. One study showed that 44% of surveyed executives think Americans are also lacking soft skills – communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, etc. These soft skills are best learned through real-world or on-the-job experience.

Yes, the skills gap is real and the problem only seems to be growing. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to succeed. With Designship in place, job readiness can be greatly increased for both companies and their employees. Signup to become a business partner today.