THE MANUFACTURING SKILLS GAP

This is an excerpt from our most recent whitepaper, “The Skills Gap and Training For The Future of Manufacturing”.

The manufacturing skills gap, or talent shortage, is the mismatch between the skills required for manufacturing needs and the skills of the workers available to fill those jobs. It is a much-talked-about reality of modern manufacturing that is even now affecting manufacturers’ productivity, efficiency, ability to expand, and profits. According to all indicators, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

The Manufacturing Institute, in collaboration with Deloitte, has been publishing a report¹ on the manufacturing skills gap periodically since 2001. Their latest analysis, performed in 2014, is based on a survey of over 450 US manufacturing executives, their opinions and experiences related to the skills gap, and the challenges it presents to their business. The analysis indicates that by 2025, 2 million skilled jobs may go unfilled because there is no one qualified to do them.

Eighty-four percent of US manufacturers agree there is a talent shortage,¹ and identify the most seriously deficient skill areas as technical and computer skills (70%), problem-solving skills (69%), and basic technical training (67%).¹

These facts have sobering implications for manufacturers that rely on a supply of skilled workers.

Download “The Skills Gap and Training For The Future of Manufacturing” to find out the implications of the skills gap in the manufacturing industry, and how simulation-based training can help.

WHAT’S BEHIND THE MANUFACTURING SKILLS GAP?

According to the executives surveyed in the study, several key factors are intensifying the crisis of talent, compared to decades past:

• The baby boomers are retiring. Baby boomers, the demographic cohort born between 1946 and 1964, have been steadily hitting retirement age since 2011. They’re leaving the workforce and taking their wealth of experience and embedded knowledge with them.

• The manufacturing sector is growing. The current strength of the economy and the reshoring of manufacturing jobs have contributed to a manufacturing renaissance in the US. Deloitte estimates there will be an additional 700,000 jobs created by 2025 due to natural economic growth.¹

• There are more skilled positions. High-tech “smart” machines with sophisticated electrical components and digital connectivity are maximizing efficiencies and accelerating production, but also require more advanced skills to operate and repair.

• Youth have a negative perception of manufacturing. A recent poll² found that 52% of teenagers did not wish to pursue a career in manufacturing, while 61% saw it as a dirty or dangerous environment that did not require thinking and offered little opportunity for personal growth.

• There is a lack of STEM talent from educational institutions. At the same time, the number of jobs and skill level expectations are increasing, schools are graduating fewer students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. Apprenticeship programs in the US declined by 40% between 2003 and 2013.³

Download “The Skills Gap and Training For The Future of Manufacturing” to find out the implications of the skills gap in the manufacturing industry, and how simulation-based training can help.

 

References:

1. The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte. (2015). The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing: 2015 and beyond.
2. Gerald Shankel. (2010). America’s most wanted: Skilled workers. Available from https://www.manufacturing.net/ blog/2010/11/americas-most-wanted-skilled-workers
3. Lauren Weber. (2014). Apprenticeships help close the skills gap, so why are they in decline? Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2014. Available from https://www.wsj.com/articles/apprenticeships-help-create-jobs-so-why-are-they-indecline-1398178808
4. Accenture and The Manufacturing Institute. (2014). Out of Inventory: Skills shortage threatens growth for US manufacturing, Accenture 2014 Manufacturing Skills and Training Study. Available from http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Research/Skills-and-Training-Study/~/ media/70965D0C4A944329894C96E0316DF336.ashx
5. CareerBuilder Press Release. (2014). Companies Losing Money to the Skills Gap, According to CareerBuilder Study. Available from https://www.careerbuilder.ca/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail. aspx?sd=3%2F6%2F2014&id=pr807&ed=12%2F31%2F2014
6. Manpower Group. (2017). 2016/2017 Talent Shortage Survey: The United States Results. Available from https://www. manpowergroup.us/campaigns/talent-shortage/assets/pdf/2016-Talent-Shortage-Infographic.pdf
7. National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). (2013). Facts about manufacturing in the United States. Available from http://www.nam.org/Statistics-And-Data/Facts-About-Manufacturing/Landing.aspx
8. V. K. Maheshwari. (2016). Simulation Teaching Skill. Available from http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=2341

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