Let’s Get Real about the Skills Gap and Start Solving It

By on May 13, 2019

From Industry Week:  A 2018 survey published by the Manufacturing Institute says that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade and 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled. Now there are people who say this skills gap is a lie. But the fact is that as skilled people retired, manufacturing companies, particularly the multi-national corporations, did not invest in the advanced training programs to replace the retiring workers.

We are 500,000 workers short today. A recent article in Industry Week said that “during the first quarter of 2019 more than 25% of manufacturers had to turn down new business opportunities due to lack of workers.”

We are 500,000 workers short today. A recent article in Industry Week said that “during the first quarter of 2019 more than 25% of manufacturers had to turn down new business opportunities due to lack of workers.”

What do surveys show?

A survey by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International “showed a majority of teens—52%—have little or no interest in a manufacturing career. Another 21% are ambivalent. When asked why, a whopping 61% said they seek a professional career, far surpassing other issues, such as pay (17%), career growth (15%) and physical work (14%).

Other surveys from the National Association of Manufactures and the Manufacturing Institute report that “only three in 10 parents would consider guiding their child towards a career in manufacturing.” The same associations said, “less than five in 10 Americans believe that manufacturing jobs are interesting, rewarding, clean, safe, stable, and secure.”

A survey by Deloitte  on the public perception of the manufacturing industry showed that most Americans think that the U.S. manufacturing sector is getting weaker and that many American citizens are steering their children away from careers in manufacturing in favor of other industries they view as more stable. Nearly 80% of the respondents to the survey believe manufacturing jobs are the first to be moved to other countries, according to the research.

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