notes for chapter 13 textbook readings associated with lecture 10

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6 Jan 2011
Chapter 13: Living in the Credential Gap by David W. Livingstone page 299-
For Nov. 18 Lecture 10
Section VII Education, Training, and Skills in a Knowledge-Based
Credential gap = discrepancies between the formal educational attainments of
current job holders and the attainments now required by employers to enter such
o1) underemployed = job holders who have more schooling then their
employers require
o2) underqualified = job holders who have less schooling then is required
by employers
oFor these people their underqualification has been created by credential
inflation since they took the job
Further education has become a pervasive means of coping with job
insecurity on both sides of the credential gap
Tracing the Credential Gap
There are always mismatches between employers aggregate demand and
requirements for employees on one hand, and on the other, the aggregate supply
and qualifications of job seekers
With the expansion of formal schooling there has been a large supply of
highly educated and credentialed people who cannot find
commensurate jobs
The two most recognized post-WWII changes in patterns of paid employment in
Canada have been the sectoral shift from resource extraction manufacturing to
service sector; and the growing participation of women in the workforce--
> long with these trends has been a decline in the proportion of jobs requiring
basic literacy and numeracy skills, and an increasing reliance on
educational credentials and specific occupational preparation rather
than general practical competence for entry into secure, well paid full time
the educational and training requirements of the occupational structure seem to
be increasingly general, but ``good`` and ``bad``jobs are becoming more polarized
and women still tend to be relegated to insecure, poorly paid part-time jobs
within the expanding service sector
the major change over the last decade has been an increase in the amount of jobs
that require a high school diploma, while # of jobs requiring less then a
diploma have decreased
average number of years of schooling for Canadians in the labour force has
increased since WW2
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how are formal educational attainments and job entry requirements related?
o1. trend towards increasing structural unemployment--> an
enduring deficit of jobs for job seekers beyond a small number of
people moving between jobs at any given time.
o2. those with little formal schooling are increasingly being
relegated to chronic unemployment and social assistance
employers are flexible about educational requirements and use them in
conjunction with other specific criteria but tend to avoid hiring highly qualified
education-job mismatches first emerged in the 1960s when the rapid
increase in education attainments of the baby boom generation
encouraged employers to inflate credential requirements for low-skill
jobs and when growing numbers of post-secondary graduates were
unable to obtain the levels of jobs that they expected
1980s= widespread diffusion of computers in the workplace,
undereducation or underqualification of functionally illiterate
workers and students became a public issue
in the present decade global competition has superseded mismatches
as the public issue
women and minorities tend to be more underemployed then white
males=continued systemic discrimination in hiring practices
Attitudinal Effect of the Credential Gap
those with formal schooling feel their jobs are closely related to their education
those with lower requirements feel overqualified
most people feel that obtaining a postsecondary education is vital in succeeding in
society and qualifying for a future job
underemployed youths see job creation as the solution to the unemployment crisis
The Quest for Further Education
most people tend to blame themselves for failure to get a decent job, which is why
the participation rates in institutionally provided adult programs increased from 4%
in 1960 to 20% in 1983. between 1986-1992 participation rates doubled from 20%-
common amongst young employed high school drop outs
north American employers are underinvesting in employee training programs
relative to most other organizations for economic cooperation and development
consequence of popular demand and employer reluctance is greater
growth of general certification and general interest courses than of
substantial job-training programsthis trend would lead to a labour force
that is highly educated but with less relevant skills to do specific jobs
see chart on pg#305
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a substantial amount of self-directed learning is occurring amongst people of all
age/sex/minority groupsespecially amongst economically disadvantaged adults
with low formal education
Living in the Credential Gap
research conducted in 1994--> consisted of 10 underqualified interviewees
(all high school drop outs), 10 underemployed (all university graduates).
The findings deal with 1) personal experience of the gap between educational
attainments and job requirements 2) current learning activities 3) future education
and job plans 4) perceptions of the general extent of education-job matching 5) job
entitlement beliefs and 6) personal views on closing the education-job gap
Experiencing the Credential Gap
the underqualified stressed the importance of on-the-job learning for their prior jobs
while denying the need for formal education credentials you didnt really need a
diploma, just know how to read and be agreeable and hard working (p.307) some of
these people with a BA are as brainless as a cockroach (p.307)
one job entry requirement that was widely recognized was literacy--> Instead of
laying us off, they should have sent us to learn computer skills. Instead, they hired
young people (p.308)
underemployed university graduates were dismissive of the formal educational
requirements of their jobs and tend to belittle the practical training involved and to
stress the need for personal qualities they did possess such as patience to be able to
tolerate work they found demeaning
overall impression of interviews was that both underemployed and
underqualified found formal educational credentials to be superficially
related to the jobs they had performed--> neither the underemployed or
underqualified found their jobs to be mentally demanding = sense of
wasted potential of knowledge and talents that were impossible to use in
the jobs
-both groups of respondents were asked an updated and abbreviated version of Allen
toughs interview schedule for studying some basic characteristics of leaning projects
-detailed comparisons of the learning projects werent very helpful as underqualified
were all enrolled in full time adult basic academic programs that dominated their
learning time while a few of the underemployed had graduated from university
degree programs within the past year and their time estimates referred only to the
period since completing the degree. However comparisons with prior research are at
least suggestive
-underqualified had undertaken an average of 2100 hours with about 20% of the time
being self-directed
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