The manufacturing industry being one of the most important of all has been on the radar for quite some time. Long before the pandemic struck, organisational leaders reported talent shortage as one of their major challenges. Today, the situation has only worsened. Even though the manufacturing sector has successfully managed to resume business operations, the problem with labour shortage persists.
A study published by Deloitte states that there would be 2.1 million unfulfilled jobs in the manufacturing sector by the end of 2030. Probably this is the reason why the skilled labour shortage is considered one of the major concerns post-pandemic. Expecting the numbers to fall suddenly would be wrong, disregarding the fact that the sector has recorded massive growth in the last quarter. Manufacturers need to assess the situation, find the root cause behind such a gap and then deploy measures to deal with the situation smartly.
There are several reasons that contribute to the skilled labour shortage in the manufacturing industry.
The youth of today misinterprets manufacturing jobs. They consider them to be for the masses who are not skilled or are uneducated. In fact, many students have negative views of manufacturing jobs thereby showing less or no interest. This prevents them from opting for career opportunities thereby creating a gap or skill shortage in the workforce.
Researches suggest that 1/4th of the manufacturing workforce was 55 years of age or above in 2019. Meaning that the majority of them were on the verge of retirement leaving behind job openings in the sector. This is one of the major reasons behind huge vacancies in the manufacturing sector. Furthermore, there are no processes aligned for effective knowledge transfer once the employees retire from the company. This again adds to the skill gap in the industry.
The last few years have seen unprecedented technology growth in the manufacturing sector. Automation of methods and business operations created a digital revolution, replacing mundane jobs. While this reduced the manpower required in the industry, it mandated the need for skilled staff. Like machines, the manpower too had to be smart and be able to operate them with ease. With the existing workforce being incompetent, the industry started facing labour shortages.
Next up are the methods used to educate and skill train the new joiners as well as the existing employees. It is noted that the training models are ineffective and fail to prepare students for industry 4.0. Factually, the methods incorporate presentations and video lectures with limited opportunities for hands-on learning. While students gain knowledge, everything is theoretical. When exposed to real-time job environments, they have low morale and are prone to make errors and mistakes.
Even though they are trained, they aren’t job-ready and hence stay unemployed.
Combatting Labour Shortage: Ways to Bridge the Skill Gap
While there are multiple reasons for the labour shortage, skill mismatch is one that leads the space and needs to be addressed at the earliest. Probably this is the reason many manufacturers are adopting VR based training simulators to train and up-skill their employees. Research shows that improving the training quality has a positive impact on the students.
Retiring baby boomers is one thing that isn’t under control. While you cannot stop that, you can definitely set up a system of knowledge transfer. True that the future sees more automation but intellectual property is something that is part of the company culture and needs to be passed on from employee to employee. In addition to the above, you also need to have dedicated programs to train your new hires. Instead of doing by observing, it is best to put someone in their shoes and allow them to learn by doing.
About VR Training Simulations
An immersive learning environment that replicates the actual training environment. VR-based training solutions enable enterprises to not only level up the quality of training but at the same time improve the engagement and interaction of students. Fortune 500 companies such as BMW, Porsche and others have readily adopted the solution and are witnessing massive growth in employee performance post-training. Talking about numbers, the cost of training has been reduced by nearly 50% while boosting employee satisfaction by 97%.
In case you too are facing similar challenges in your organisation, opting for advanced training solutions will help prepare your staff for industry 4.0, and successfully combat the challenges of skilled labour shortages. Get in touch with us to know more about the same.