John Olsrud: Are Corporations Shifting Job Training Costs To The Taxpayers?

As a senior citizen, I can look back at how things have changed since my generation went to school. The concept back then was that we went to school to get a good education and learn how to think, then we got jobs and our employers trained us for whatever needed to be done. Thus, we were on the payroll while we were being trained for specific jobs.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]We should be asking if these job training programs are really in the public interest or are they just one more way those with power (corporate executives) have seen a way to increase their profits by shifting costs to taxpayers and students.[/mks_pullquote]

A few decades ago, a new way of training employees was developed. With the full cooperation of administrators of for-profit private schools, community colleges, and similar institutions who saw a way to increase enrollments, new programs were initiated to provide training in those educational institutions for specific jobs in industry. Rather than the employers paying for this training, including payrolls for those being trained, taxpayers pick up much of the tab in the public institutions and students pay for their training in both the public and private schools, often with student loans.

These job training programs seem to be especially popular with people who have a mistrust of public school education, especially higher education liberal arts, as that kind of education does not prepare students for specific jobs.

There is much bragging about the fact that students coming out of job training programs get jobs right away, instead of spending time trying to find their right fit in a competitive job market. The media reports on this subject seem to always portray these programs in a favorable light as if they are win-win experiences for both employers and students.

We should be asking if these job training programs are really in the public interest or are they just one more way those with power (corporate executives) have seen a way to increase their profits by shifting costs to taxpayers and students. I am bringing this up is to see if readers have other perspectives on these job training programs. I can certainly see advantages to these programs and I know both employers and students have benefited, but we never see any discussion of the cost shifting they entail.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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