"We are just not getting applicants." Boohoohoo!
Qualification is expensive, and at a time when folks barely manage to make ends meet, it's VERY difficult to "invest in yourself". The costs of training are prohibitive, especially in the technological sector. And some courses aren't even open to private customers. That didn't use to be a problem in better times, when the companies themselves invested in their people. But that has changed, the horrible focus on quarterly profits has ruined any long term planning, and it's obvious that qualifiying your own staff is an investment that will reduce your immediate profits and only bear fruit in the future! That's not helping the managers to get their big bonusses now, so, generally, it isn't done anymore.
Instead, the industry BURNS their human resources! Employees have become throwaway items. Industry wants them young and with the most recent qualification. They exploit them for some years, at an unsustainable pace that leads to burn outs, health problems, failed relationships, marriages and families, and that doesn't leave time to renew qualifications (which the companies don't want to pay for anyway). And once the efficiency of that worker is shrinking, he/she will be fired, and the company will look for the next fresh face instead. The fired folks, with their obsolete qualification, don't have much chances on the job market, it's all downhill for them. And once their job experience is older than one year, it becomes almost impossible to find a position in their old field. They will end up in McJobs instead.
Of course, people aren't totally dumb, and they react on all the stories they hear about these practices. Less and less are willing to go into a profession where they would be only cannon fodder for the industry. And that's when the companies start screaming "there aren't any applicants!". Well, they're lying, of course, there are applicants, but they are older and need a refreshing of their knowledge. The companies don't want that, too costly, so they prefer to wait for the young fool fresh from university to become their next victim.
It's high time this hypocrisy and stinginess becomes exposed! And the media shouldn't fall for the umpteenth show of crocodile tears about "missing applicants" anymore. There should be hard hitting journalism that questions the statements and demands to see the applications. And that doesn't let the companies get away with excuses like "that guy is too old" or "this engineer lacks the qualification in XYZ". Really, what does age have to do with it (that's pure discrimination, btw), and if the manager has time to wait for MONTHS for the "right" applicant to show up, what's the effing problem in hiring the next best guy and sending them to training for some weeks?
Really, why doesn't the media finally pick up this topic, and exposes the sham? This would be a sure nomination for the next Pulitzer for every good journalist!
(based on a comment to a story at OpenLeft)