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Minnesota 'skills gap:' It's not just a lack of workers, report says

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The problems associated with a so-called skills gap in Minnesota are even more complex than many had believed, a new report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The study examined three job areas: nursing, industrial engineering and manufacturing production in Minnesota. Within the industries, DEED interviewed 213 employers that account for more than 1,500 job vacancies.

The report found many employers have had difficulty filling positions, MPR reported, but the reasons had only partly to do with a lack of skilled workers, MPR reported.

Other factors: uncompetitive wages, undesirable locations and work shifts.

Another interesting note: Researchers said electronic job applications that use key words to match applicants with jobs may not work well, which makes it tougher to find the right applicant.

Oriane Casale, assistant director of DEED’s Labor Market Information Office, told reporters Thursday that there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will fix the hiring difficulties found across the industries, MinnPost reported.

The report's bottom line: Manufacturers must increase salaries, better train workers, and promote their trades – and stop being so choosy if they want to fill vacancies, the Star Tribune reports.

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