But Germany’s vocational training isn’t top of the class by European standards. That prize goes to Denmark. Over four percent of Danish gross domestic product is spent on job training and support — about the same percentage the U.S. spends on its military budget while allotting a mere 0.7 percent to job retraining and support. And Danes have job placement down to a quasi-science. Experts prepare what is known as a “bottleneck analysis,” using pollsters to survey employers on what jobs they will need in coming years. The feedback is then used to identify the next labor shortages and to pick the correct training courses for individuals. One Danish jobs analyst said, “In our system, we can make supply and demand match,” an impressive boast that shows a proactive government can help a flexible labor market.
If our politicians valued the American worker as much as they value the military-industrial complex, we’d be much better prepared for the kinds of jobs that are going to be needed in the coming decades.