A new Accenture manufacturing and skills study, completed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute, looks at the skills shortage in the US manufacturing industry and what actions manufacturing companies can take to address how this lack of talent pool of skills for manufacturing jobs impedes growth.
Below this write up you will also find a very cool infographic, so be sure to check that out at the end of the post.
The study includes survey responses from more than 300 executives from a diverse range of US manufacturing companies. It confirms that the current period is favorable for the US manufacturing industry, which has exhibited steady growth in recent years. The study shows that more than 50 percent of companies surveyed plan to increase US-based production by at least 5 percent in the next five years.
However, the study also reveals major challenges that could dampen future growth prospects—shortages in the skills for manufacturing jobs required to perform essential tasks today and innovate for tomorrow. The US manufacturers may lose up to 11 percent of earnings annually as a result of increased production costs driven by a shortage of skilled workers.
The study identifies several strategies for how manufacturers can stem the skills shortage by investing in their “talent supply chain” and how leading manufacturing companies are addressing this burning issue.
If you have followed our blog, you may have caught our series which explores all things about the lack of skills for manufacturing jobs. In the series we first identify what is the skills gap, what are some possible solutions, a quick editorial on if there is an actual skills gap in manufacturing or not, and then some insights from a manufacturing veteran. We encourage you to check out these posts to catch up on all thinks manufacturing skills gap.
After having many discussion on the lack of skills for manufacturing jobs, many folks point to the following quick points as talking points:
Recently manufacturing has seemed to come into focus for the federal government. Recently we saw the passage and announcement of advanced manufacturing hubs created to focus on innovation and Tom Reed (R-NY) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) the RAMI Act (Revitalize American Manufacturing Innovation), introduced as a bi-partisan is gaining more and more support in the house and many politicians are touting the importance of focusing on manufacturing.:
“This country’s manufacturing base lies at the epicenter of efforts to address some of our greatest economic challenges,” said Congressman Kennedy. “From still-stubborn unemployment rates to trade deficits and income inequality: a national manufacturing policy is essential to putting this country back on solid economic footing. This national network will be smart and strategic in addressing perennial manufacturing challenges, building an infrastructure from the local level up that is directly tapped into the unique regional challenges US manufacturers face. Best of all, these institutes will be incubators for the kind of strong, middle-class workforce that our economic recovery depends on. I’m grateful that Congressman Reed would join me in this effort and look forward to building on the broad bipartisan support we have already received.”
–Congressman Joe Kennedy III
Finally, just yesterday, along with discovering this great infographic and report from Accenture, I came across this Forbes article where they stress why it is even more important to decrease the lack of skills for manufacturing jobs as Advanced Manufacturing comes more and more into focus and the way manufacturing is done. The author stressed (and this speaks to one of the above talking points):
Their (manufacturers’) challenge is one that the HSBC report hints at: Finding new talent to run these advanced machines. ITAMCO recognized it early, however, and funded a really innovative high school program to help solve the problem of finding skilled employees locally. Remember shop class, that class that went away before the turn of the century, they have helped to bring it back. It certainly sounds like they get the “Reinventing America” effort going on across the USA – shop class on steroids, so to speak – filled with modern day equipment like CNC machines and 3D printers. No doubt robotic arms will be next. The jobs, however, are different than manufacturing lines of old — higher skills are needed and the report highlights some of the ways to address that.
With such activity and buzz around manufacturing, and as the industry “transforms” itself right before our eyes, it does appear that manufacturing is nearing some sort of tipping point. I feel it….do you? At any rate, as the Forbes article points out, all of that won’t matter if we don’t create the skills for manufacturing jobs needed to continue to grow.
Download Out of Inventory: Skills Shortage Threatens Growth for US Manufacturing for detailed survey results and skills development strategies.
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