In 2015, Deloitte predicted 2 million manufacturing jobs would remain unfilled by 2025 due to a gap in job skills. Publicly sounding an alarm many manufacturers already heard generated interest in creating marketing and educational programs to attract job candidates.
The manufacturing industry’s workforce has adapted throughout history as mechanization and automation evolved. Manufacturing would benefit from another re-branding. Today’s factory floors feature smart production that uses automation to enable communication between products and machines. This new manufacturing world has evolved from a ‘smokestack’ environment to one filled with clean air and high-tech opportunities.
Importantly, the shift toward automation isn’t prompting headcount reductions. A 2018 Manpower Group survey showed one in four companies plans to add jobs to support digital technology.
STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) have picked up momentum, but with a focus on medicine, engineering, and computer science – these skills are also needed across the new manufacturing landscape.
An array of training and educational opportunities has emerged to draw younger workers into manufacturing.
By showcasing the new manufacturing world and collaborating with educators on skills-training, manufacturers can bridge the skills gap and build careers.