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Thought Leadership

Addressing the Workforce Skills Gap

Bold Leaders in Learning

Interview with CEO, author, and workforce expert Van Ton-Quinlivan

It’s been one of the biggest challenges in workforce development, impacting every industry. How do we keep workers up to date with their skills and grow the talent pool? Nearly every industry is currently facing a skills gap, but those requiring special skills and training are finding themselves with the most severe labor shortages. So, how should companies go about filling these gaps?

“High schools and even middle schools are good times for career exploration,” says Van Ton-Quinlivian, nationally known thinker (and do-er) about workforce development. “This is a good time for companies to be leaning in and thinking hard about their talent needs.”

Van also astutely points out that the skills gap is a problem that needs to be solved industry-wide. “The point of competition should be at the end of the workforce pipeline, at the point of hiring. When we play together to create the talent pool, we then compete at the point of hiring, because the alternative here is a talent puddle, and no one wants that.”

In Part Two of our latest Bold Leaders in Learning conversation, Van talks to Kaplan’s Brandon Busteed, Chief Partnership Officer, and Rachael Bourque, VP of Corporate Learning Solutions, about why creating opportunities for success is contingent on expanding access to education and training, the importance of building partnerships between educational institutions and employers, and creating supportive environments that can help individuals overcome systemic barriers to success.

Van is the CEO of Futuro Health, a California-based nonprofit working to improve the health and wealth of communities by growing the largest network of allied healthcare workers in the nation. She’s also the author of a best-seller book, WorkforceRx: Inclusive and Agile Strategies for Employers, Educators and Workers during unsettled Times.

Like this video? Watch more Bold Leaders in Learning, Kaplan’s podcast series exploring new, innovative ideas in the areas of education, careers and the workforce, and leadership.

Want to learn more about Kaplan’s learn-work solutions? Talk to Brandon Busteed or Rachael Bourque or our corporate solutions team.