Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Dec 2012 17:01 UTC
Apple So, Apple is serious about this thing. Tim Cook has said in an interview the company plans to manufacture one line of Macs in the US, starting next year. Coincidentally (or not?), Foxconn has just announced it plans to expand its production facilities... Into the United States. There's no indication as of yet that the two are linked, but the coincidence is at least interesting.
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Skills not Wages
by Milo_Hoffman on Fri 7th Dec 2012 15:31 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Interesting last night on NBC he said that its 'skills', particularly math skills that make mfg stuff in the US difficult.

I assume that all that math is needed for all the measuring, recording and calculating of quality control and component testing data.

In electronics manufacturing the machines usually actually make the parts via robots etc, and the humans are basically just testers of the boards.


BUT, all that being true... it WAS the wages, and that is why the jobs left in the first place, and now that the problem is not the wages, they complain that no one has skills.

Of course no one has the skills, the skills have not been needed.

I think if you bring the jobs, and people will skill up. After all, that is why China did.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Skills not Wages
by Alfman on Fri 7th Dec 2012 16:42 in reply to "Skills not Wages"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

The two really do go hand in hand. It's not accurate to simply say people don't have the skills. It's more likely that employment packages on offer are not attracting the desired workers. Companies used to pay employees to invest in vocational skills, that's unheard of any more. They expect highly skilled workers to walk in the door without investing a dime.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Skills not Wages
by Neolander on Sat 8th Dec 2012 08:28 in reply to "Skills not Wages"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

If you are ready to pay for the skills, you will find some way to get them.

Case in point: I work in a physics lab where we have a bunch of engineers and technicians that dedicate to the conception and realization of helium-based cryogenic devices. Since this is a bit of a niche field, we'd have a hard time finding students coming from courses that specialize in this specific area, if such courses do exist for mere students (which I doubt).

So what we do instead is to find people who have been trained to some specific aspects of the job (mechanical engineering, vacuum technology, microfluidics, applied thermodynamics...), and then have the other members of the team train them for the rest.

This effectively costs a lot in terms of work hours, but we have no choice since we need those skills. I believe that similarly, money first and demand second could bring back all sorts of manufacturing skills back to our countries if we really wanted them.

Edited 2012-12-08 08:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Skills not Wages
by Alfman on Sat 8th Dec 2012 19:58 in reply to "RE: Skills not Wages"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Neolander,

I agree with all that.

We've been focusing on the cost/skill dynamics on the employer's side, but there's a similar dynamic on the employee side. The wages haven't remotely kept up with the educational costs required to attain the prerequisite degrees.

https://www.studentloan.com/pay_for_college/risingcost_education.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/college-costs-are-rising-_...

I don't think the rise in education price is arbitrary or "staged". It's dictated by supply and demand, when the economy weakens, more people go to school by taking on more debt. This phenomenon is pretty clear in the charts.

These numbers are alarming. It was already prohibitively expensive for me and my wife. Our degrees kept us in tuition debt for 8 years with help from my parents. If future wages don't catch up to tuition, our children could be in education debt for 30 years or more. If the projections hold, our daughter might just be paying off the final instalments of her degree in her 50s. Then she can get a 30 year home mortgage and pay it off into her 80s.

Meanwhile, our social security payments are officially projected to return $0.60 on the dollar.

Reply Parent Score: 2