A recent study done by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte predicts a serious shortage in skilled manufacturing talent available to fill job vacancies over the next decade. The study sites two significant contributing factors to the increasing skills gap – economic expansion and baby boomer retirement.
Along with retirement and economic expansion, other contributing factors to the shortage of skilled labor includes loss of trained expertise in the pool of new work force talent. An unattractive perception of the manufacturing industry among younger generations and a gradual decline of technical education programs in public high schools have contributed to a deficit of new talent. The study also sites a lack of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills among upcoming workforce participants.
The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte study included a Public Perception of Manufacturing series conducted over the past six years, which consistently showed that while Americans deem manufacturing to be one of the most important domestic industries contributing to a strong national economy, it is not considered to be a desirable career choice. In fact, only 37 percent of respondents in the 2015 study reported that they would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career. Those, however, who were familiar with manufacturing jobs tended to have more favorable perceptions. These respondents were twice as likely as those who weren’t familiar to encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career. It can be surmised from this study that manufacturers need to enhance the perception of the manufacturing industry in the U.S. through community, educational, and government programs.
As the manufacturing industry works collectively to recruit new talent to fill future labor force needs, wise manufacturers need to consider how the predicted skills gap labor shortage may affect their operations. Not only may they be disadvantaged by a loss of personnel, the supply chain they depend upon could be disrupted.
It is important for manufacturers to understand how the skills gap will impact business. Download our free Guide to Navigating the Skills Gap to learn more about the implications of future workforce trends, how they will unfold, and what can be done to prepare, not only as an industry, but as an individual business.