Early last week, I had the chance to attend an event hosted by the Tent Partnership, which is an organization “mobilizing the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of the more than 25 million men, women and children forcibly displaced from their home countries.” It was wonderful to see so many representatives from U.S. companies interested in hiring and supporting refugee workers, and it reminded me of this piece that Chris Chancey and I co-wrote for Quartz last month: The US has a skills gap problem—and it’s ignoring its most obvious solution.
There is a national shortage of skilled workers, and it is only projected to get worse. At the same time, we have had an influx of both refugees and immigrants who are often trapped in low-wage jobs without the potential for promotion or advancement simply because they do not have the English language skills they need for further professional development.
The solution is clear–we need to create English on-ramps for immigrants and refugees to access job training programs, and these need to be implemented for both incumbent workers and job-seekers. Savvy employers that invest in English language training for their employees will be addressing the skills gap from within, while at the same time improving the lives of their employees and their families. It’s a win-win situation; we just need more employers to get on board.
Interested in empowering refugees and immigrants with language training that creates educational and career advancement? Reach out to us.
Katie is Voxy’s Chief Education Officer, which means she leads the teams ensuring that learners are getting the most efficient and effective educational experience possible. She has a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and years of experience teaching languages, building language courses, and evaluating the effectiveness of language training as a research scientist. She lectures and writes about all things related to language learning and educational technology.