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Navigating The Skills Gap in The Manufacturing Industry’s Transformative Journey Blog

Joanna Frieske, Marketing Director | May 15, 2024
General Blog

The manufacturing industry is currently undergoing a transformation due to digital technologies and automation. This transformation emphasizes the challenges brought about by the growing skills gap and the need to upskill and reskill the workforce. Investing in human capital, promoting a culture of lifelong learning, and providing access to relevant training programs are essential. InSource InSider has been designed to address these challenges by offering unlimited training opportunities and expert access, enabling employees to thrive in the digital era.

Unless you’ve been completely disconnected for the past decade, you might already be aware, or perhaps it’s news to you, that the manufacturing industry is undergoing a transformation. Driven by rapid technological advancements, this shift involves integrating digital technologies, automation, data exchange, cloud computing, and advanced manufacturing techniques. These innovations are not just reshaping how things are made, they’re redefining job roles within the sector and promising increased efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. However, they also introduce significant challenges, particularly in workforce skills development.

As a doctoral candidate specializing in management, I recently had the opportunity to explore this topic more deeply through a research proposal. What could be more engaging than exploring a subject one is passionate about? In the proposal, I investigated digital transformation in manufacturing as a competitive advantage. A key question that emerged and influenced my research was: How does the war for talent influence the adoption of digital transformation to secure a competitive edge? More importantly, what are manufacturers doing to secure, upskill are reskill their talent?

Recent studies and reports consistently highlight a growing skills gap within the manufacturing sector. This gap is not just a disparity between the skills provided by educational institutions and those demanded by the industry, but also an internal industry challenge related to upskilling and reskilling existing workers. As digitalization becomes essential to manufacturing processes, the demand for digitally literate and technically skilled and tech-savvy workers continues to rise. However, in addition to the generational shift in the workforce, the supply of such workers is not keeping pace, worsening the talent shortage. According to Deloitte, up to 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could remain unfilled by 2030 due to these discrepancies. This alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for proactive measures to bridge the skills gap and ensure the industry’s long-term viability.

Addressing the skills gap demands a strategy centered on upskilling and continuous learning. This involves not only attracting new talent with the necessary skills but also investing in the growth of current employees. Resistance to change among the workforce, particularly among those who may lack necessary digital skills, adds complexity to this challenge, emphasizing the importance of targeted training initiatives.

Manufacturers must reevaluate their talent development strategies to meet the evolving demands of the industry. This includes fostering a culture of lifelong learning, providing access to relevant training programs, and offering opportunities for skills development and career advancement. Initiatives that support unlimited training, access to experts, coaching, and even workforce augmentation are key in this regard. As the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, the importance of investing in human capital cannot be overstated. A skilled and adaptable workforce is essential for navigating the complexities of modern manufacturing and driving innovation and growth.

As my research progresses, it will be fascinating to explore how companies are managing skills gaps and generational shifts in the workforce and capitalizing on available resources through partnerships and vendors. Understanding the dynamics between different generations and leveraging these relationships to enhance skillsets across the board will be important in closing the skills gap. These efforts are not just about adaptation but about turning a multigenerational workforce into a driver of innovation and growth in the digital era.

Programs like InSource InSider are designed to address the unique challenges facing the manufacturing sector. InSider offers a suite of services aimed at accelerating the onboarding process, enhancing skills development, and empowering employees to thrive in an increasingly digital environment. By providing unlimited training opportunities, InSider enables manufacturing facilities to effectively equip their teams with the skills needed to leverage new AVEVA technologies. This ongoing training ensures that employees remain agile and adaptable, capable of handling complex roles and tasks with confidence. Moreover, InSider offers access to a diverse range of experts and coaches, as well as peer Forum providing guidance and support to employees at every stage of their professional journey.

To learn more about InSider click here.

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