How to Prevent the Skilled Worker Shortage From Slowing Manufacturing Momentum

This guest blog post was written by Ram Ramamoorthy, strategic manufacturing solutions manager at MAVERICK Technologies. Click this link to watch an ISA webinar on closing the skills gap, presented by Ram.

Over the past decade, the manufacturing renaissance has been a driving force in the country’s economic recovery. And it makes sense — after all, every dollar spent in manufacturing returns $1.37 to the economy, and every 100 new manufacturing jobs creates an additional 250 jobs in other sectors. Yet even as the industry instructor-teaches-industrial-automation-studentscontinues to pick up speed, the generation responsible for this resurgence is looking toward retirement.

Nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next 10 years, according to a recent study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. Due to the growing skills gap, however, as many as 2 million of those jobs won’t have experienced workers to step in and fill them.

In addition to baby boomer retirement and economic expansion, the shortage of skilled workers can be attributed to the increasingly technical nature of manufacturing work and the decline in related education programs. It also doesn’t help that many young adults have a negative perception of the manufacturing industry. So how do we turn things around?

To learn more, watch this ISA co-hosted webinar on how you can close your skills gap for good by hiring the right people and home-growing the knowledge you need.

Here are five ways to start closing the skills gap today:

  1. Make new skills training more accessible. In addition to providing co-op and internship programs, consider offering ongoing training classes. Whether provided onsite at your facility or through online seminars, courses can feature a range of topics — from project management to team building.Partner with technical schools and community colleges
  2. These collaborations can yield robust community outreach programs and design curriculum that attract new talent and provide temp-to-hire positions for new grads. Recruiting partnerships get students excited about supporting real engineering and design projects.
  3. Encourage positive attitudes toward the manufacturing industry. The Deloitte study also indicated that those with high manufacturing familiarity rank it higher as a career choice. One of the best ways to steer recent graduates toward manufacturing is to expose them to real engineering projects and provide them with real-world experience early on.
  4. Encourage positive attitudes toward the manufacturing industry. The Deloitte study also indicated that those with high manufacturing familiarity rank it higher as a career choice. One of the best ways to steer recent graduates toward manufacturing is to expose them to real engineering projects and provide them with real-world experience early on.
  5. Recruit the right candidates. Recruiting challenges vary from one position to the next, which is why it’s important to develop well-tailored recruitment strategies. Collaborate with your marketing department to create job-specific recruiting campaigns that demonstrate innovation and showcase benefits such as flexible hours or telecommuting.

Though there’s no silver bullet for solving the skills shortage, strategic investment in skills development and targeted recruiting are your best bets for surviving it. Don’t be tempted to limit spending on training and recruiting so as not to lose it to turnover. Give your workers a reason to stick around — and give new graduates a reason to apply. After all, if you haven’t narrowed the skills gap by the time your baby boomers retire, you stand to lose a lot more.

About the Author
Ram-RamamoorthyRam Ramamoorthy has 13 years of industrial automation experience. He is currently the strategic manufacturing solutions manager at MAVERICK Technologies overseeing the Sustaining Services practice. Ram has been in this position for 4 years and is responsible for the daily operations of the Global Operations Center, PlantFloor24. He is responsible for staffing, training and developing PlantFloor24 resources. The center provides a wide range of on-demand industrial control system and manufacturing IT support services on a 24/7/365 basis. Ram has a master’s in electrical engineering from the Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and works in MAVERICK’s Columbia, Ill. office.

Connect with Ram:
LinkedIn

 

Print Friendly

, ,