- About NSC
- Skills Mismatch
There are approximately 20 million Americans employed in key service-sector industries who lack foundational skills in literacy, numeracy, or digital problem-solving. These skill gaps serve as an invisible drag on productivity, often limiting workers’ ability to climb the career ladder and increasing employer costs.
Businesses play an important role in helping these workers build skills and attain economic mobility – and smart public policy can amplify employer investments while also strengthening talent pipelines across the sector.
That’s the overview of a new report from National Skills Coalition. Foundational Skills in the Service Sector: Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Limited Math, Reading, and Technology Proficiency on Workers and Employers focuses on retail, hospitality, and healthcare workers.
The report is designed to inform business leaders, policymakers, and advocates who are addressing challenges faced by workers with skill gaps and their employers. It provides a detailed data profile of workers, examples of employer interventions that support skill-building, and recommendations for state and federal policymakers.
What the Data Tell Us
How Employers Are Responding
Companies that are successfully addressing skill gaps among their workforce are using a variety of tools. A key way to offer high-quality upskilling opportunities to their employees is through partnerships with nonprofit organizations, community colleges, and other training providers. Among the examples detailed in the report:
What Policymakers and Advocates Can Do
Public policies are a crucial tool for amplifying employer investments and ensuring that all workers can participate in skill-building opportunities, regardless of the size or capacity of their employer. Recommendations in NSC’s report include:
Learn more about NSC’s findings and recommendations in the full report.
This paper was made possible by generous support from the Walmart Foundation. We thank them for their support but acknowledge that the findings, conclusions, and recommendations presented in the report are those of NSC alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Walmart Foundation.