Your editorial of March 8 (“Our View: Business partnership aims to span skill gap“) perpetuates one of the most well-debunked economic myths of our underperforming economy: the “skills gap.”

Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management at the Wharton School and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources, explodes the myth in his book, “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It.”

Writing in Time magazine June 4, 2012, Cappelli explains that the real problem is with businesses, noting that about 10 percent of business owners admit on questioning that the candidates they want won’t accept the job at the wage they are offering.

Instead, according to Cappelli, owners believe they can wait long enough for candidates in a weak economy to bend to their wage demands.

Many business owners admit that they have no problem is finding knowledgeable candidates.

Instead, the owners want workers with prior experience for the same job. Cappelli points out the absurd example of a business holding out on hiring a cotton-candy machine operator – not a high-skill job – until they could find one with prior experience.

Employers continue to pile on job requirements. Cappelli points to one example where a company sought expertise in human resources, plus marketing, publishing, project manager, accounting and finance!

Why would employers follow such self-defeating behavior? Simple – modern businesses seek higher profits by foisting their training costs onto the public schools, and forcing down wages by refusing to hire good workers at decent prices and dictating the curriculum of our schools.

Instead of admitting such selfish behavior, however, they have created the myth of the failed worker and failed educational system to avoid being forced to do their own training, pay better wages and support sound public education.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.