The manufacturing industry is currently facing a skilled labor shortage. This is a result of the retirement of Baby Boomers, the de-emphasis on vocational education, and the rise of technology. Manufacturing businesses also find it challenging to source skilled workers because of the increased labor and transportation costs and even forced transfer agreements leading to the loss of technologies.
Experts predict that by 2030, up to 2.69 million manufacturing workers will retire. The problem is that skilled manufacturing workers are retiring much faster than companies are replacing them. To address this skilled labor shortage, manufacturers must turn to technology.
Thanks to today’s tech innovations, recruiting, hiring, and training new skilled workers can be done entirely online. Traditional manufacturers can also use technology to improve their hiring practices, making them more attractive to skilled workers.
The future of the manufacturing industry lies in combining traditional methods with modern technology. By doing so, manufacturers can address the skilled labor shortage while staying ahead of the competition.
The following are three examples of how technology can help address the skilled labor shortage in the manufacturing sector.
Automating Manual Tasks
Before, there were lots of manual tasks performed by human workers. While these tasks are crucial for manufacturing, they are often mundane and repetitive. This can lead to workers becoming bored and even disgruntled. As a result, they may leave the company searching for a more stimulating work environment.
Fortunately, there are now various technologies that can automate these manual tasks. Manufacturing companies can now invest in machines that will handle materials and products. This will free human workers to perform other tasks requiring more skills and creativity. In addition, automating manual tasks can also help improve safety in the workplace as there will be fewer risks of injuries.
For example, businesses can boost productivity by 30% by investing in robots. Companies can now use collaborative robots, or co-bots, which work alongside human workers. These types of robots can automate tasks such as welding, fabricating, and measuring.
By using technology to automate manual tasks, manufacturers can improve efficiency while also freeing up human workers to perform other tasks. This can help address the skilled labor shortage as it will allow companies to utilize the skills of their workers more effectively.
Improving Employee Training
Employee training is essential for the manufacturing sector. With the right training, workers can operate machinery and equipment safely and effectively. Unfortunately, traditional employee training methods can be time-consuming and expensive.
Fortunately, technology can help in improving employee training. Manufacturing companies can now create virtual reality (VR) simulations of the workplace. This will allow employees to train in a safe and controlled environment. Companies can also tailor VR simulations to the individual needs of each employee.
For instance, companies can create VR simulations of the manufacturing process. This will allow employees to familiarize themselves with the workflow. In addition, VR simulations can help train employees on how to use specific machinery and equipment.
Aside from VR headsets, companies can also invest in VR gloves with haptic feedback. These gloves give employees the sensation of touch, allowing them to interact with virtual objects. This is perfect for manufacturing companies that need to train skilled workers who handle equipment function care and building and equipment maintenance.
Companies can reduce training costs by using such technologies for employee training while ensuring that employees have the proper training. One only needs to find a reputable dealer who can customize your orders and offers services like virtual prototyping to ensure you get the best out of your technology investment.
Improving Hiring Practices
Hiring skilled workers can be a challenge for manufacturing companies. This is because there is a lot of competition for these workers. Companies must improve their hiring practices to attract and retain the best talent.
In the past, most businesses relied on print advertising and word-of-mouth to find employees. However, with the rise of social media and job search engines, it is now easier than ever for businesses to find qualified candidates for open positions. Tech can also help screen candidates through video conferencing and in assessing job candidates using online assessments, which can help save time and money.
Another way that companies can use technology to improve their hiring practices is by using applicant tracking systems (ATS). These systems can help businesses keep track of job applicants and their progress throughout the hiring process. In addition, ATS can also help companies to automate the hiring process by sending automatic responses to job applicants and scheduling interviews.
Companies can also use social media to their advantage. Businesses can reach out to a larger pool of job candidates by creating an online presence. They can also post job openings on social media platforms and search engines. Once hired, technology can help them stay connected to their coworkers and managers through tools like email, instant messaging, and video conferencing.
The skilled labor shortage is a significant challenge for the manufacturing industry. However, by turning to technology, manufacturers can mitigate some impacts of this shortage. Automating tasks currently performed by human workers, training employees remotely, and using technology to find and retain employees are all effective ways to address this problem.