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Conquering the Skills Gaps: The Industry Talent Consortium

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Huffington Post, November 24, 2014, Updated September 16, 2015: Not so long ago, people, processes, data and things functioned independently. Today, the Internet of Everything (IoE) brings them all together by combining human and machine interactions in ways that only science fiction writers could have dreamed of. Information derived from these networked connections creates new capabilities, richer experiences and incredible economic opportunity. Cisco predicts that between now and 2022, $19 trillion in value is at stake for organizations willing to take advantage of the immense IoE opportunity.

Every industry and company will have new opportunities to create smarter products and services, create more convenience for consumers and begin to bring work-life integration to a whole new level. Finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, oil and gas and every industry you can think of will rise to new standards to be globally relevant and competitive as well as provide safer and more interesting environments to work within.

These are all great opportunities to improve our lives, our health and our cost of living but these opportunities come with an ironic twist. Even with a pool of over 11 million unemployed people in the US to choose from, 45 percent of employers cannot find qualified candidates for their open jobs. Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum, encapsulates our current dilemma: "We have entered a global economy where talent and skills shortages challenge economic and business growth around the world."

The skills gap has had its skeptics, but the time for skepticism is over. The gap is real, and it is serious. In the new war for talent, Employers are facing particular challenges finding people with the necessary skills for new industry jobs such as data scientists, cyber-security specialists, industrial network engineers, mobile app developers and network programmers.

A skilled and competent workforce will be required to realize the business outcomes, productivity gains and organizational efficiencies that are attainable through IoT. There is a need for re-skilling the existing talent pool and bringing new employees into the workforce to align with the skills needed for the future.

This task has proven easier conceptualized than done, yet it must be done well and as quickly as possible. It's too big for any one entity to tackle; it requires a group of dedicated stakeholders. Toward that end, partners from all spheres of influence have created the Industry Talent Consortium. It's a gathering of employers, academia, industry change agents and human capital solution providers to connect talent who have the pre-requisite skills to employers -- after necessary training and certifications.

Subject matter experts from these key areas are assembling now:

  • (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York Academy of Sciences) will help prepare students through degree programs, professional development and in partnering with companies to provide training for the jobs of the future.
  • Human Capital Solution Providers [IQNavigator] will help identify top jobs, regions, supply/demand and skill gaps.
  • (Rockwell Automation, GE, Cisco) are looking to hire individuals for the new job roles.
  • Change Agents (Cisco, Rockwell Automation, Pearson, Knod) will create education curriculum, training and certifications that will help train and validate the skills needed for the new jobs.

These Consortium members will work collaboratively to identify skills gaps and then address it on several fronts. They will identify individuals with the appropriate experience to re-skill or up-skill, create and deliver the necessary training and certification programs, and enlist identified talent to take part in degree or certificate programs. Consortium members will then hire those individuals for the jobs that will make the promises of Internet of Everything a reality. The Industry Talent Consortium is a line in the sand drawn for the sake of our collective future and will adapt and grow as needed to ensure a more connected world of greater possibility and prosperity for all.