LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner gave a speech at the recent Bay Area Council 2012 Outlook Conference, where he outlined his suggestions for solving a different kind of unemployment crisis: the gap between worker skills and the skills needed for those few jobs that are available. The theme of the conference was "The Next Human Leap," and Weiner made the point that in making the next leap, we, as a whole, don't want to leap so far that humans can't keep up. Weiner points out that that although the unemployment rate sits at around 8.2%, there are 3.5 million available jobs in the U.S.
"I would posit that at least one major driving factor here is...the pace with which technology and innovation is now accelerating," said Weiner. "We are outstripping our ability to educate and train the existing workforce."
The Bay Area Council is business-sponsored public policy advocacy organization based in the San Francisco Bay area. The group holds the yearly Outlook Conference that highlights future economic and political trends. This year's conference featured speeches by former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Mario Sundar, senior social media manager and the chief blogger for LinkedIn, outlined the main points of Weiner's speech in a post on the LinkedIn blog. Weiner has a three-pronged solution to ensure that jobs requiring a high level of skill can be filled. First, improving the U.S. education system. Second, make it easier for highly skilled workers to emigrate to the U.S. and fill jobs. Lastly, greater investment in the country's digital infrastructure.
Sounds easy, right? Improving education and investing in infrastructure are causes nearly everyone can get behind, yet are much easier said than done. Has Weiner actually come up with workable solutions? Watch Weiner's entire speech below and decide for yourself. Then, leave a comment and let us know what you think.