Skills gap costly to employers

CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) — “You need to stand out, you need to have a good resume.” High School senior Julia Lavigne knows there’s lot that goes into landing the job you want, but many jobs require something even more specific.

A new CareerBuilder study says more than half of employers have open positions they can’t find qualified candidates for.

And that gap in skills is costing employers thousands.  For every job that stays vacant for more than three months, it cost the employer about $14 dollars.  One in four employers surveyed said they have lost revenue because they’ve had a delay in filling open positions.

The survey says most of those job openings are in computers, engineering, and health care.

Career advisors here at Chicopee Comprehensive High School explained to 22News that they’re hearing directly from employers that are telling them they have a great need for employees that have a specific set of skills, mostly in the machine tool industry.

“That’s an area where we really can’t fill the amount of positions that are high skill high wage jobs yet we don’t have the share number of students to fill those positions and that’s echoed I think throughout the Pioneer Valley,” Kara Blanchard, the school’s workforce developer, said.

Blanchard also told 22News she advises the students to make the most our of internships and co-operative opportunities.

Something Lavigne said has really helped her plan her future.

“Definitely, the internship has allowed me to kind of test drive what I want to do and see if it’s for me before I go out to college and pay all the money to do it,” Lavigne said.

Nearly 50 percent of employers surveyed they plan to train workers who don’t have experience in their industry or field.

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