The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte recently released a study based on interviews with over 400 manufacturers that gave a few alarming insights about the manufacturing industry. According to this report, there is a shortage of workers in the industry that has led to a shortage of approximately two million positions over the past ten years.

The two major drivers behind this skills shortage include retirement and expansion. While the manufacturing industry continues to grow and expand, the availability of skilled labourers continues to fall. Analysts have said that close to 60% of manufacturing jobs will remain vacant by 2025. The rate at which manufacturing workers are retiring will also lead to 2.7 million manufacturing jobs that will need to be filled in the next decade.

Manufacturers are working hard to create exciting, prosperous careers and work environments that will draw skilled labour, but filling the vacant positions remains a challenge. A few experts have drawn the following conclusions to explain this phenomenon:

  • Manufacturing isn’t a hip industry: Millennials don’t think that the manufacturing industry sounds very appealing or cool. They are more likely to opt for technology companies, start-ups or other work environments that appeal to them more.
  • Lack of training and internship opportunities: In order to draw more people, manufacturers have to enable workers to get a foot in the door by offering on-site training and internship opportunities.
  • Students aren’t choosing STEM careers: Many jobs in the manufacturing industry require a specific STEM (science, technology, engineering, match), but students aren’t choosing these fields of study.

Addressing the skills shortage starts with manufacturers looking into creating opportunities and addressing the challenges that they face head on. Training a new generation means engaging with the students and learners of today.

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