How do manufacturers secure and develop reliable, long-term employees? They reconsider traditional employment requirements, train early, and hire locally. In their 2018 skills-gap study, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that “prioritizing competencies and potential in job candidates over strict adherence to sometimes arbitrary factors such as years of experience” could prove productive and even necessary in manufacturers’ quest to find needed talent.A shortfall in skilled, trained employees could lead to missed market opportunities as well as a decrease in innovation and new product development, the study noted. Sixty percent of the manufacturer respondents said the top business impact of the skills gap was the “inability to maintain or increase productivity.”
The increasing use of automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence is creating a disparity between available workers and the skills needed to fill open jobs. Deloitte’s study found that employers want production workers with “extended computer skills to program a CNC machine for a new job or interact with CAD/CAM and other engineering or manufacturing software.” The study projects that if the industry does not close the skills gap, it could lose $2.5 trillion in economic output over the next decade.