The manufacturing industry’s inability to land skilled employees to fill open position creates a Pandora’s box of problems, from decreased productivity to reduced competitiveness, failure to adopt new technology to creating a strain on the current workforce – the list goes on and on. Is the problem getting worse? Yes, but it’s not a lost cause – there are proactive measures employers can take to ease the burden.
A generation of skilled workers has moved into retirement age, which is one of the top reasons for the skills gap. Other problems hitting the manufacturing industry includes a shrinking worker pool and a lack of college graduates with degrees in engineering and science. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce records show that durable goods manufacturing employment rates never recovered from the “Great Resignation,” which is in reference to the roughly 50 million workers who quit their jobs in 2022. As of April 2023, 40 percent of open manufacturing positions are still in need of skilled workers to fill them. Source? According to a report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030.
Industries hit hardest by the skills gap:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Electrical engineering
- Machine learning
According to McKinsey & Company, 87 percent of companies say they either are currently experiencing a skills gap or will be in the next two to 10 years. The trend is set and it’s obvious that acting now is imperative for the manufacturing industry.
What’s the Fix?
What are employers doing to fight the skills gap? Some are expanding their talent search so as not to limit their target to a specific demographic. Instead of targeting youth, they’re also considering older adults. Convicts and those with work visas, previously considered red flags for employers, are now viable candidates.
While drastic times call for drastic measures, there is an approach that doesn’t include taking risks, and it involves giving the workforce the tools they need to succeed. A prime example is implementing workforce training initiatives that can educate an entire work pool and feed manufacturers with quality employees. According to the Manufacturing Institute, 79.4 percent of manufacturers are “increasing their workforce training efforts to combat the industry’s significant skills gap.”
It’s true that the American educational system has not kept up with the current economy, but when employers invest in the right resources, they create an effective, prepared and confident worker pool that feeds their needs. The manufacturing industry can’t be expected to develop primary education curriculums that inject more science and mathematics classes into the school systems, but they can implement training programs developed by professionals to positively impact the workforce.
At WorkForge, we deliver the solutions needed to establish well-rounded employees. Our Career Pathways integrate skills instruction, personal and professional development and leadership courses into each pathway. With WorkForge as your partner, you can move an entry-level employee to a leadership position more efficiently, effectively and in less time.
Contact us today to learn more about how WorkForge can improve your talent retention and development tomorrow.