The IBM Solution to the Skills Shortage

The following story has been taken out of a book I have just finished reading. The Boomer Century 1946-2046 by Richard Croker. One of the farsighted companies that is taking a lead in setting up “mechanisms and support systems” for boomers to step into the next phase of life is IBM. IBM’s mature engineers suggested that the company find a way to ease the difficult transition time and to build a pathway, leading from one career to another. They have developed a pilot program called “Transition to Teaching.” They have also identified the crisis in schools and the quality of teachers. Jobs requiring science, engineering and technical training is increasing and students need to be prepared with excellent grounding in science and mathematics. IBM is building a bridge from IBM to high schools. Employees who want to continue to work and add value are given the opportunity to have some flexibility in their work schedule and attend classes on how to teach. When they leave their role in formal employment with IBM they can now take up a position teaching these important subjects to the next generation. They bring their real life experiences into the classroom. I dream about this type of vision amongst South African companies. If the major player in each industry rose to the challenges we face, I believe we can again start to be proud of our nation and start to help build a future for the next generation.