According to results of a new survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults, both employed and unemployed Americans believe that employers’ lack of willingness to train new employees is the leading reason why many Americans are unemployed—and they most would pick Warren Buffett to lead their company’s training if they had a choice.

The findings came from a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of online business training software provider Mindflash.

The Mindflash announcement notes that even though the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 4.5 million jobs are open in the U.S., almost 10 million Americans continue to seek employment—a predicament commonly blamed on the “skills gap,” in which American job seekers do not possess the skills for which employers today are looking

Blaming employers for perpetuating the “skills gap,” almost one-third (31 percent) of Americans said employers aren’t willing to train new hires for the specific skills they need.

In addition, more than three-quarters—76 percent—believe that companies have at least some responsibility to help address the “skills gap.”

Buffett and Cuban
AP Photos: Robin Buckson (Buffett) and LM Otero (Cuban)

Asked if they could have their pick of any leader to host their company’s training, CEO and philanthropist Warren Buffet is the No. 1 choice for corporate trainer, selected by 35 percent of Americans.

NBA owner Mark Cuban was another popular choice, but he was selected by only 18 percent of those surveyed.

Another 11 percent opted for Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz.

Asked about their experiences, some 41 percent of said they didn’t receive any skills training, such as product training or management training on the job in the past two years.

“Companies themselves have a hand in creating the very skills gap that is holding up work and productivity across our country today,” says Donna Wells, CEO, Mindflash, said in at statement about the survey. “While we work on long-term solutions such as improvements in higher education, companies need to rise to the occasion and invest in developing the ‘perfect hires’ they need to thrive here and now,” she added.

This lack of investment is perceived by Americans as extending beyond training as well. The survey reveals that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of employees believe that the main reason for the “skills gap” is not because of a shortage of candidate skills, but only a lack of willingness among companies to pay enough to attract the candidates with the skills they desire.

That said, more than one-quarter of Americans are placing complete responsibility on companies themselves, and are willing to take ownership for advancing their own careers. In fact, 27 percent of employed Americans and 26 percent of unemployed Americans indicated they would be willing to invest up to $1,000 of their own money each year for relevant skills training.

Among those who did receive training, 71 percent of employed Americans felt effectively trained when on-boarded to their most recent position. Additionally, a majority (70 percent) of employed Americans agree that their company’s training is relevant to their day-to-day jobs.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Mindflash from September 10-12, 2014 among 2,011 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,050 are employed.

Source: Mindflash