Skills gap hobbles US employers Skills gap hobbles US employers - FT.com This is where on of Gingrichs ideas has a great deal of merit. It is fundamentally wrong to give people money for 99 weeks for doing nothing. That's why we undertook and passed welfare reform when I was Speaker. It is also why I will introduce a training requirement for extended federal unemployment benefits. We can better help these Americans by requiring them to participate in real training programs in private companies, in exchange for temporary unemployment aid. Our goal is to convert the time and money now lost to a maintenance unemployment program into a human capital investment program that increases the competitiveness of the American worker in the world market in a time of dramatic scientific and technological change. This makes sense. How many people have been out of work for years, just waiting for that perfect job? Skilled workers are needed now! The salaries are great and we dont have the workers! Retrain, or better yet, train!