With the majority of the current United States labor market falling somewhere in the vast space between high school graduate and college graduate, those trained to fill roles in this education-gap are often labeled as "middle-skilled." Jobs either require a degree, or they don't and those who are stuck in the middle can find themselves locked out because of the all- or- nothing approach of many employers.
But this gap is causing undue stress upon the business, closing the door on strong candidates that can fill massive hiring needs. With the broad range of jobs that require skills and training somewhere between a diploma and a degree, placing the skills along a spectrum is a better way to think about talent and ability.
Building, and recognizing, a skills spectrum can't be done alone. That's why we're proposing a panel discussion at SXSW EDU 2020 called "Unstuck in the Middle: Building a Skills Spectrum." We'll make the case that this new way of categorizing skills could unlock pathways to economic opportunities for workers and employers alike.
If you're interested in furthering the discussion on workforce development and the impact a defined skills spectrum could have on the labor market, take a look at our full proposal and "VOTE UP" to see us at SXSW.