There are several reasons it's hard for employers to find qualified engineers, says Jonas Prising, Manpower's president for the Americas. First, employers don't want to hire two or three engineers with a variety of specialties, they want one engineer who is trained in several areas. Another reason is that there are far too few new college graduates in engineering to replace retiring engineers. Also, the Obama administration's pledge to rebuild America's infrastructure is increasing the need for talented engineers.
There are several causes of this shortage. First, America's aging population requires more caregivers for chronic illnesses affecting older people. Also, advances in medical care require more nurses to assist in treatment. However, there's a shortage of nurse educators, so while demand for professionals is great, there aren't enough teachers to train the next generation fast enough.
This includes a variety of workers with specialized skills acquired at vocational schools or in on-the-job-training during apprenticeships.. The professions include electrician, bricklayer, carpenter, cabinetmaker, mason, plumber and welder. There's a shortage of these workers because so many young people are encouraged to attend four-year colleges, not vocational schools. Also, these jobs are physically demanding. "It's one of the baffling shortages of skills, since they're well-paid, flexible positions," Prising says. "You can have gainful employment for a long time. This isn't work that will be outsourced or disappear. It's locally based work with geographically transferable skills."
These are workers in engineering, technical, operations or maintenance roles who may be classified as either skilled or semi-skilled workers. They often support professionals who have deeper skill bases. Like workers in skilled trades, technicians are trained at vocational schools, and they're in short supply because so many high school students are encouraged to go to four-year colleges instead.
Truck driver, to be specific. They are hard to recruit because they have to be away from home for long periods, receive low wages, work very long hours and put up with a fluctuating workload.