Closing the Skills Gap in Manufacturing

In manufacturing and other industries, you will often hear people talk about the skills gap. It is the void between the skills you need, and the expertise available from workers seeking employment. It is frustrating, and it makes filling positions a challenge. However, apprenticeship programs may provide your company with the employees that possess the skills your organization needs.  

Causes of Manufacturing Skills Gap 

Understanding the reasons for a skills gap can be challenging, but there are a few factors that all holes have in common: 

  • There are not enough people with training in advanced manufacturing.  
  • Prospective applicants can’t meet the advertised job requirements provided by automated job match programs.  
  • Employers are reluctant to provide training for employees, and unrealistically prefer that employees provide their training. 
  • Some manufacturing companies can’t find the right people because they are offering pay that is not competitive with other employers in their area.  
  • Although some employees may possess tech skills, they still lack essential communication and soft skills.  
  • An aging baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and leaving a gap in the manufacturing industry, and many young people have no interest in a career in manufacturing.  

Closing the gap With Apprenticeships 

An apprenticeship with a combination of on the job training and classroom education might be the answer to the problem. This combination of training and classroom education is perfect for people who are unable to afford a four-year college or who do not wish to accumulate excessive college debt. An apprenticeship offers a person an opportunity to earn money while they learn marketable skills that are in high demand.  

Manufacturing companies can help to shape their apprenticeship programs to fit their company’s needs by working alongside community colleges and trade schools to ensure that classroom training is in line with real-world manufacturing operations. Apprenticeship programs are available in high-demand manufacturing fields such as: 

  • CNC set-up programmer 
  • Machinist 
  • Industrial maintenance repairer 
  • Mold maker 
  • Die casting 
  • Plastic molding 
  • Plastics fabricator 
  • Tool and die maker 

Manufacturing employers should take an active role in working with local high schools, youth groups, community colleges, and trade/vocational schools. Apprenticeships are available at the federal and state levels. Of course, you may set up an apprenticeship program if traditional programs do not meet your organizational needs.  

Keeping Your New Apprentices 

If you invest in attracting high-quality apprentices, it is vital that retain these future manufacturing employees. Keeping employees is even more critical when you consider that manufacturing has one of the highest turnover rates of any industry. Make sure your apprentices have a career path with an understanding of how to progress within the company. Provide effective coaching and training while fostering a team atmosphere.  

Ready to staff up? 

In the competitive atmosphere of manufacturing, finding, and keeping skilled employees is vital. Apprenticeships are an excellent way to close the skills gap while obtaining qualified employees. If you are seeking talented employees, check out SIS for your industrial staffing needs.  

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