A new survey, reported in the Worcester Business Journal, has found that 75 percent of employers are having trouble finding qualified candidates to fill open positions, up from 69 percent in 2013, particularly in the central and western parts of the state.
The survey commissioned by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education of public education and workforce readiness found the problem affected a wide range of positions across industries and across the state. Business leaders reported serious deficiencies in new hires, ranging from higher-order skills like teamwork, critical thinking and communications to basic reading and math.
The survey results reflect a widening skills gap that needs to be addressed through the elementary and secondary education system, according to MBAE. This skills gap will limit both the ability of people to get employment in the knowledge economy, but also for businesses to find enough workers to fill open positions, according to the organization.
The survey was conducted by MassINC Polling Group and commissioned by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) with support from Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Business Roundtable. It was distributed by more than 40 business associations across the state to their members. The research was a follow-up to a similar project done in 2013.