Train a skilled technical workforce

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According to two cover stories in Chemistry and Engineering News, an independent media outlet of the American Chemical Society. These programs are increasingly important as companies fear they won’t have enough workers to fill the available jobs in these fields, especially for technical positions that don’t require a doctorate.

In Germany, apprenticeship programs are the most common form of training for young talent, with around half of all high school students following some form of work-linked vocational training provided by companies, says freelance writer Vanessa Zainzinger. This training combines practical on-the-job training with more traditional teaching in a school and is beginning to find its way elsewhere in Europe, notably in Austria and Switzerland. In the UK, companies work with a training provider – such as a university, vocational school or college – to run an apprenticeship scheme, rather than industry itself taking the initiative. These programs allow apprentices to “earn while they learn,” creating career opportunities that might otherwise be inaccessible to many aspiring chemists.

In the United States, community colleges are increasingly supporting careers in fields such as biotechnology, the petroleum industry, and chemical processing and manufacturing by forging partnerships with regional companies, says Alla Katsnelson, editor independent. And the role these programs play in training workers has become more important as the cost of higher education has soared. Community college programs combine a strong foundation in chemistry and biology, which includes instruction in basic and advanced techniques, with soft skills important for student success in the job market. With the need for employees steadily increasing, especially after the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce training will continue to play an important role in staffing science fields.

The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization accredited by the United States Congress. ACS’s mission is to advance the broader chemical enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of the Earth and all its inhabitants. The Society is a global leader in promoting excellence in science education and access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple search solutions, peer-reviewed journals, its scientific conferences, e-books and weekly periodicals. Chemistry and Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, trusted and widely read in the scientific literature; however, the ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a leader in scientific information solutions, its CAS division partners with global innovators to accelerate breakthroughs by curating, connecting and analyzing global scientific knowledge. ACS’s principal offices are located in Washington, DC, and Columbus, Ohio.

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