Absence of skilled workers in the countryside
Limited availability of practical skills in agricultural communities
Deficient local community skills
The people of small rural towns are unequipped to meet the needs of their town's future. The people of such communities may be willing to engage in the community's restoration but they are hampered by their narrow range of practical skills.
As society grows increasingly more complex, communities need to have their residents equipped with a broader range of vocational and leadership skills than ever before. However, few residents in small communities have modern management skills in agriculture, industry or commerce; this is an obvious impediment to rapid economic growth. Even though practical skills play a large part in establishing an individual's or a community's identity and provide social mobility, residents of many rural communities have grown to believe that up-to-date knowhow is unattainable. Communities are unaware of the proper channels for expanding their narrow technological perspective; they are therefore unable to increase their technical skills, although vocational training, literature and visual demonstrations have made a wide range of modern technology available. In rural communities where the majority of residents share a single vocational skill, this skill has become an inadequate means of providing financial sustenance.
Individuals may experience difficulties in getting and keeping jobs; they attribute these difficulties to a lack of preparation for interviews and on-the-job relations. City government employees lack accounting, record-keeping and proposal-writing skills. Some residents feel that the effectiveness of volunteer fire departments is weakened by their minimal experience in modern fire-fighting methods. Teachers do not have curricula which would allow them to effectively teach practical skills in school. In some rural communities there may be no-one who knows how to drive an automobile, or use farm machinery; and neither the vehicles nor the training to use them are available. Illiteracy is widespread. Those young people who do acquire technical or commercial skills find no channels to put their skills into use and move to the city. Even in agriculture, although traditional skills may be very well developed, contemporary methods are largely unheard of and unsought; outdated agricultural technology is complicated by other technical factors, such as lack of organized land schemes and the inability to control pests. Continuance of traditional construction practices often means that road and bridge building is inhibited by minimal technological knowledge, and houses and pathways are in need of constant repair. Few medical skills are available to deal with emergency situations or hygiene problems. Poor understanding of poultry raising and animal husbandry, and inadequate techniques of animal care, result in problems of health as well as in offensive odours and dirty paths. Other common characteristics of deficiency are an absence of vocational teachers; no opportunity to better income through a second trade; inadequate drainage systems with no alternative techniques or practical examples to follow; unavailability of trained health workers resulting in insufficient community health services; women economically hindered by lack of technical skills.
As agriculture is upgraded with technology and new industrial activities are introduced in rural areas the need for systematic training increases. Traditional functional skills are no longer sufficient. Although rural people show remarkable resourcefulness and highly developed skills, modern techniques may be virtually unknown; and there is an unfulfilled desire to acquire relevant training for the adoption of new methods. Few have the opportunity to participate in special educational programmes that give mechanical skills, literacy, marketing skills, [etc]. There needs to be a system for implementing such training at the local level, and for creating the supporting mindsets and mores for such programmes.