As technology advances and manufacturing becomes more specialized, the skilled workforce ages toward retirement and new workers are increasingly entering the job-market under trained and under qualified.
“The skilled worker shortage” has been big news in production and manufacturing for years now. Is it possible for companies to react to the impending crisis proactively?
Companies to Invest in Training
Some of the biggest names in manufacturing have taken the initiative to offset the potential challenges of a skilled worker shortage. The biggest companies across industry lines are now investing in high level technology education and training. As most post-secondary programs are becoming increasingly out-of-date due to the specific nature of modern manufacturing, companies are taking action to ensure they have access to the skilled workforce needed. Partnering with different colleges across North America to develop effective programs, these companies are hands-on in developing the curriculum that will ensure efficient skill learning and better opportunities for job placement at the completion of the program. Some are even starting with high school aged students and working with inner-city kids to engage them in the world of manufacturing. This process greatly benefits a diverse range of smaller companies as well. According to Statistics Canada, “the majority of higher education (research and development) spending occurred in the natural sciences and engineering category.” At 76.2 per cent, that’s $10.9 billion - and it’s only the beginning.
Developing Leadership in the Workforce
Developing the skill sets of employees has proven beneficial to more than just the bottom line. Although improved productivity is an asset to any company, it’s how that increase is achieved that is worth exploring. Contributing to the growth and development of employees leads to a strong reputation as a great company to work for. This helps in not only retaining staff, but also attracting top talent across the industry. An improvement in productivity consistently occurs when workers are motivated to grow in their careers. A sense of ownership in each role creates an environment of improved efficiency and innovation. The result is a specifically trained workforce empowered to excel in their work.
Quality Management & Production Process Optimization
Like music to our ears, a surge in productivity is the common goal across industries. An increase in efficiency undeniably leads to a rise in throughput. That being said, the many additional benefits to investing in trained, skilled workers effectively lead companies to lower costs. When rejection rates are reduced, we see a decrease in non-conformance items and an increase in productivity. Ultimately, a trained workforce leads to production process optimization.
Advancing Soft Skills in the Workforce
“2020 vision” isn’t just an optometry term. With a sense of foresight, It’s time to look ahead to the future. As technological development thrives, it’s important to look out for the relevant trends fast approaching. The majority of the “heavy lifting,” both literally and figuratively, will be done by automation. But as computers cannot yet think for themselves, this leaves a major opening for the development of soft skills. Skills such as: data analysis, critical thinking and problem solving, communicating/collaborating within a team, adaptability, and creativity/innovation, will become increasingly invaluable over time. Developing employee skill sets that act in harmony with automated technological advancement is essential to the long-term success of your company.
Overall, for the continued growth and success of your business for years to come, now is the time to invest in your workforce.