Manufacturers have been worrying about the Skills Gap for years. Automation requires skills in math, technology, even engineering. Yet U.S. grads continue to major in business, history, sociology, and psychology — that’s more than a third of American college grads right there.
High school grads typically don’t have the science and math chops to major in STEM subjects, or to go straight to work in a modern factory.
The Body Gap
But IndustryWeek is reminding us that manufacturing is increasingly not just having trouble finding qualified job candidates. In many cases, it’s a problem finding any candidates at all.
The average skilled manufacturing worker is a man in his 50s. That cadre is about to retire, and Millennials aren’t stepping on to take on those jobs.
IndustryWeek is taking an optimistic tone. After all, manufacturing increasingly uses high tech machinery and digital tools. Give the industry time, they figure, and the coolness factor will overcome the outmoded image of soulless assembly lines.
We recommended cooperation among industry, education, and government, and there is evidence that this approach is helping. Factories are making themselves open for field trips and donating equipment to high school shop classes. Training is becoming a higher priority and the government is providing financial support. That’s helping.
A Missouri Enterprise writer even suggests making a “chill” break room a higher priority. Millennials might be drawn in by strong wages and steady work, but they’ve got to have a good place to check their Instagram accounts.
Where’s the funding coming from?
Skeptics have been questioning whether the Skills Gap might actually be a sign of industrial penny pinching. With low levels of unemployment, manufacturers may have to come up with higher wages, better training programs, or at least snazzier break rooms.
Where’s the money for that going to come from? One possibility is keeping your machinery in service longer. We specialize in Rexroth drive and control systems. We know that these motion control systems can stay in service for decades. Sales teams may tell you to upgrade at the first sign of trouble, but Rexroth supports legacy components.
Factory repair or reman can keep your servos, drives, and controls working for many more years. Contact us immediately to save without compromising on quality.