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Skilled worker

Skilled worker

Overview
A skilled worker is any worker who has some special skill
Skill (labor)
Skill is a measure of a worker's expertise, specialization, wages, and supervisory capacity. Skilled workers are generally more trained, higher paid, and have more responsibilities than unskilled workers....

, knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

, or (usually acquired) ability in their work
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

. A skilled worker may have attended a college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

, university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 or technical school
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

. Or, a skilled worker may have learned their skill
Skill
A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills...

s on the job
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

. An example of a skilled labor job is gamemaking and computer manufacturing.


It could be argued that in the northern area of the United States, craft unions served as the catalyst to foment a strong solidarity in favor of skilled labor in the period of the Gilded Age
Gilded Age
In United States history, the Gilded Age refers to the era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post–Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century. The term "Gilded Age" was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded...

 (1865-1900).
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Encyclopedia
A skilled worker is any worker who has some special skill
Skill (labor)
Skill is a measure of a worker's expertise, specialization, wages, and supervisory capacity. Skilled workers are generally more trained, higher paid, and have more responsibilities than unskilled workers....

, knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

, or (usually acquired) ability in their work
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

. A skilled worker may have attended a college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

, university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 or technical school
Vocational education
Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

. Or, a skilled worker may have learned their skill
Skill
A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills...

s on the job
Employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

. An example of a skilled labor job is gamemaking and computer manufacturing.

History



It could be argued that in the northern area of the United States, craft unions served as the catalyst to foment a strong solidarity in favor of skilled labor in the period of the Gilded Age
Gilded Age
In United States history, the Gilded Age refers to the era of rapid economic and population growth in the United States during the post–Civil War and post-Reconstruction eras of the late 19th century. The term "Gilded Age" was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner in their book The Gilded...

 (1865-1900).

In the early 1880s, the craft unions of skilled workers walked hand in hand with the Knights of Labor
Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence Powderly...

 but the harmony did not last long and by 1885, the Knights' leadership became hostile to trade unions. The Knights argued that the specialization of industrialization had undermined the bargaining power
Bargaining power
Bargaining power is a concept related to the relative abilities of parties in a situation to exert influence over each other. If both parties are on an equal footing in a debate, then they will have equal bargaining power, such as in a perfectly competitive market, or between an evenly matched...

 of skilled labor. This was partly true in the 'eighties but it had not yet made obsolete the existence of craft unionism
Craft unionism
Craft unionism refers to organizing a union in a manner that seeks to unify workers in a particular industry along the lines of the particular craft or trade that they work in by class or skill level...

.

"...The impact of scientific management
Scientific management
Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management...

 upon skilled workers should not be overstressed, especially in the period before World War I."

The period between 1901 and 1925 signals the rise and fall of the Socialist Party of America
Socialist Party of America
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

 which depended on skilled workers. In 1906, with the publication of The Jungle, the most popular voice of socialism in the early 20th century, Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Upton Beall Sinclair Jr. , was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle . It exposed conditions in the U.S...

 gave them ignorant "...Negroes and the lowest foreigners - Greeks, Roumanians, Sicilians and Slovaks" hell.

There was a divergence in status within the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 between skilled and unskilled labor due to the fall in prices of some products and the skilled workers' rising standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 after the depression of 1929. Skilled workers were the heart of the labor movement before World War I but during the 1920s, they lost much of their enthusiasm and the movement suffered thereby.

In the 20th century, in Nazi Germany, the lower class was subdivided into agricultural workers, unskilled and semi-skilled workers, skilled craft workers, other skilled workers and domestic worker
Domestic worker
A domestic worker is a man, woman or child who works within the employer's household. Domestic workers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to cleaning and household maintenance, known as housekeeping...

s.

After the end of World War II, West Germany surpassed France in the employment of skilled labor needed at a time when industrialization was sweeping Europe at a fast pace. West Germany's preponderance in the field of education, the training of skilled workers in technical schools, was the main factor to outweigh the balance between the two countries. In the period between 1950 and 1970, the number of technicians and engineers in West Germany rose from 160,000 to approximately 570,000 by promoting skilled workers through the ranks so that those who were performing skilled labor in 1950 had already become technicians and engineers by 1970.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the average wage of a highly skilled machinist in the United States of America is $3,000 to $4,000 per month. In China, the average wage for a factory worker is $150 a month.

Overview


While most (if not all) jobs require some level of skill, "skilled workers" bring some degree of expertise to the performance of a given job. For example, a factory worker who inspects new televisions for whether they turn on or off can fulfil this job with little or no knowledge of the inner workings of televisions. However, someone who repairs televisions would be considered a skilled worker, since such a person would possess the knowledge to be able to identify and correct problems with a television.

In addition to the general use of the term, various agencies or governments, both federal and local, may require skilled workers to meet additional specifications. Such definitions can affect matters such as immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

, licensure
Licensure
Licensure refers to the granting of a license, which gives a "permission to practice." Such licenses are usually issued in order to regulate some activity that is deemed to be dangerous or a threat to the person or the public or which involves a high level of specialized skill...

 and eligibility for travel
Travel
Travel is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations. 'Travel' can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.-Etymology:...

 or residency. For example, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, skilled worker positions are not seasonal or temporary and require at least two years of experience or training.

Skilled work varies in type (i.e. - service versus labour), education requirements (i.e. - apprenticeship versus graduate college) and availability (freelance versus on-call). Such differences are often reflected in titling
Title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

, opportunity, responsibility and (most significantly) salary.

Both skilled and non-skilled workers are vital and indispensable for the smooth-running of a free-market and/or capitalist
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 society. According to Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan
Alan Greenspan is an American economist who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006. He currently works as a private advisor and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC...

, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank
Federal Reserve Bank
The twelve Federal Reserve Banks form a major part of the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States. The twelve federal reserve banks together divide the nation into twelve Federal Reserve Districts, the twelve banking districts created by the Federal Reserve Act of...

, "...Enhancing elementary and secondary school sensitivity to market forces should help restore the balance between the demand for and the supply of
Supply and demand
Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers will equal the quantity supplied by producers , resulting in an...

 skilled workers in the United States."

Generally, however, individual skilled workers are more valued to a given company than individual non-skilled workers, as skilled workers tend to be more difficult to replace. As a result, skilled workers tend to demand more in the way of financial compensation because of their efforts. According to Greenspan, corporate managers are willing to bid up pay packages to acquire skilled workers as they identify the lack of skilled labor as one of today's greatest problems.

Education


Education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 can be received in a variety of manners, and is acknowledged through various means. Below is a sampling of educational conventions. (According to Greenspan, math skill more than anything else is required to achieve skilled-job status and is the one skill too many high school grads lack ).
  • On-the-job training
    Training
    The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. It forms the core of apprenticeships and provides the backbone of content at institutes of...

     - (Examples: fashion model, telecommunicator, entertainer)
  • Apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship
    Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

     - (Examples: welder, mechanic, farmer, mason)
  • Vocational certification
    Vocation
    A vocation , is a term for an occupation to which a person is specially drawn or for which they are suited, trained or qualified. Though now often used in non-religious contexts, the meanings of the term originated in Christianity.-Senses:...

     - (Examples: cosmetologist, dental assistant, licensed nurse practitioner, chef)
  • Associate Degree - (Examples: legal assistant, commercial artist)
  • Undergraduate Degree - (Examples: school teacher, software developer, nurse, coach)
  • Professional Degree - (Examples: Architect, lawyer, medical doctor, psychiatrist, management)
  • Graduate Degree
    Graduate school
    A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree...

     - (Examples: Astronaut, international businessperson, professor)
  • Other - Education can be received in other manners other than, and sometimes in conjunction with, what is mentioned above. For example, summer or post-graduate internships are very common for persons with advanced education but little experience. Also, many fields, including medicine, may require re-certification for various procedures or the profession in general. - (Examples: Post-doctorate fellow, medical resident, software intern)(General Motors
    General Motors
    General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

     university system with sixteen functional colleges and McDonald Hamburger University).

Electronics


In American industry
American Industries
American Industries is a large real estate development company based in Chihuahua, Mexico. They also have offices in Monterrey, Ciudad Juárez, and El Paso....

, there has been a change in the concentration of skilled workers from the areas of past economic might e. g. steel, automobile, textile and chemicals to the more recent (21st century) industry developments e. g. computers
Computer industry
Computer industry is a collective term used to describe the whole range of businesses involved in developing computer software, designing computer hardware and computer networking infrastructures, the manufacture of computer components and the provision of information technology services.-See...

, telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s and information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 which is commonly stated to represent a plus rather than a minus for the American standard of living
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

.

Procurement


Due to globalisation, regional shortages of skilled workers, migration, outsourcing
Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the process of contracting a business function to someone else.-Overview:The term outsourcing is used inconsistently but usually involves the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider...

, and other factors, the methods of procuring skilled workers has changed in recent years.

Migration


Brain Drain

All countries are in a process of change and transition which makes possible the migration of skilled workers from places of lower to higher opportunities in training and better working conditions. Although materialistic rewards play a role in skilled workers migration, it is the lack of security, opportunity and suitable rewards in the homeland
that fundamentally makes this massive movement of people possible, going from places of lesser development to affluent societies.

Some developing countries see the migration of domestically trained professionals abroad not as a drain but as a gain, a "brain bank" from which to draw at a price; for these professionals, on their return with their accumulated skills, would contribute to the growth of the homeland; cultural factors favor the return of these professionals for a short or a long while.

South Africa

Under Apartheid, the development of skilled workers was concentrated on the white inhabitants but after the socio-political upheaval of the 1990s, these same skilled workers are emigrating, a highly sensitive subject in contemporary South African Society. The media in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 has increasingly covered the "brain drain" in the 1990s. Starting in 1994, when a democratically elected government took control of the reins of power, official South African statistics show a greater emigration of skilled workers. The validity of this data has been questioned.

Highly skilled workers migration intensity

The demand for Information Technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

(IT) skilled workers is on the rise. This has led to a lessening of the immigration restrictions prevalent in various countries. Migration of skilled workers from Asia to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia is common, specially among students and the temporary migration of IT skilled workers. Data shows, however, that the migration of skilled workers from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and France to the United States is only temporary and is more like a brain exchange than a "brain drain".

World Bank Policy on Fair Exchange

Brain Drain literature focuses mainly on the high cost of skilled migration for the homeland or sending country. This loss can be partly offset if the migration is only temporary. Developing countries invest heavily in education. However, temporary migration can generate a substantial remittance of capital flow to the homeland. This flow of capital plus the additional knowledge gained would do more than compensate the homeland for the investment made originally in educating the skilled worker. The key to temporary migration is a change in the trade and immigration policies of the receiving country and a stepping-up of the demands of the sending country for the return migration of skilled workers.