GUEST ARTICLE: Preparing the manufacturing industry for future workers

  • 14 Aug 2018

downloadThe following article comes from Tom Reddon, a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team.


“LIKE the supply chain industry, the manufacturing discipline is another emerging field that is looking to attract the best and brightest.

We have said it before and we will say it again: with a new year comes new resolutions, predictions, and forecasts. 2018 is also expected to be a breakthrough year for the manufacturing industry.

With more jobs becoming available and more current workers due to retire, the industry like the supply chain field is expected to be inundated with youth and talent.

Is your business at this crossroads? Are you looking for ways to tackle the generation gap whilst preparing your enterprise for the workforce of tomorrow?

Here is some advice on how you can prepare your business for future workers.


1. The Generation Gap

With an apparent generation gap comes variance in skills. Many experts have cited that there is indeed a big skills gap between the baby boomers, the gen-Xers, and millennials heading into the manufacturing industry.

However, the skills of senior workers compared to their junior counterpoints is no longer a point of division but an essential talking point. With experience comes expertise and those lessons must be passed onto future workers.

However, the generation gap is not actually a gap but a bridge combining the fundamentals of yesteryear with the wave of tomorrow.

Future workers will be more knowledgeable in evolving philosophies and schools of thought that have optimized the industry as a whole.

It goes beyond Six Sigma or LEAN but rather focuses on a way of operating with an emphasis on safety, efficiency, and cost reduction honing the rudiments established decades ago.

2. Attracting The Workforce of Tomorrow

According to Cerasis, refreshing the image with a modernized look will attract tomorrow’s brightest minds.

With yesterday’s workers leaving the manufacturing industry, the field needs a refined, polished, and updated look to reflect the times.

However, the solution might not just be a cutting-edge marketing campaign, but students learning new and more accurate data, starting at the high school level.

Lecturing about the history of manufacturing to chart the progress of the industry can offer compelling insights that will excite tomorrow’s workforce.

Emphasizing STEM — or science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields and their uses in manufacturing can purvey new possibilities that many can explore to new depths and heights.

Doing this will offer many captivating insights into the manufacturing industry.

3. Automation Will Be Crucial

The manufacturing game like its sister industries is changing with every stride it takes. As a result, an emerging trend on the increase is the automation of daily operations and practices.

Functions and duties that were once moderated by the human hand are now enhanced by technological innovation.

With tomorrow’s workers being ever more technically proficient the manufacturing industry is looking for the brightest minds to man these apparatus and components.

Automation is a part of the manufacturing industry and those that are most astute and adept are needed now more than ever.


You can follow Tom on Twitter at @TomReddon

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