Career Development / Changing Workforce

How to close the manufacturing workforce skills gap

By Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation, for IndustryWeek

Nov 23, 2015

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A thriving workforce has long been the fuel supply for our industry’s engine of growth. But today that fuel supply is in jeopardy as manufacturers and industrial operators around the world contend with the issue of workforce availability – a result of evolving job requirements and aging workers with deep process understanding leaving the workforce.

More than a challenge to manufacturing success, McKinsey Global Institute warns that workforce availability threatens to reduce economic growth by 40%, despite continuing productivity from automation and other elements of supply-chain optimization.

Further complicating matters is the emergence of the Internet of Things and the convergence of information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT), which are creating additional skills gaps, and forcing manufacturers and industrial operators to reshape their workforces.

There is no single or short-term fix for overcoming these profound demographic changes and technology skills gaps. But there are some key areas where manufacturers and industrial operators can better prepare their operations and empower their workers to adjust to the challenge ahead.

Read more on how to attract tomorrow’s workers while preserving the collective knowledge and experience of the baby boomer workforce.