Manufacturing Day and the Skills GapFri Oct 3, 2014
One of the most pressing issues facing the manufacturing industry today is the skills gap. There are numerous organizations and programs that concentrate on rectifying the current situation; however, one of the most well-known and celebrated social movements is Manufacturing Day.
October 3rd marks the 3rd annual celebration which aims to open a national dialogue in which we, the manufacturing community show the general public and specifically our youth that careers in manufacturing can be highly satisfying and rewarding
We are fighting a battle that has a ticking time clock. The majority of people employed in manufacturing careers will retire within the next 5 to 10 years, and if we do not have the younger generation ready and trained to replace them, we will find ourselves not able to compete globally in the manufacturing sector.
There has been some movement by way of a shift towards apprentice programs. Modeled after vocational training in Germany, the Obama administration has introduced this idea as a way to repair the skills gap, even after children leave school. Most German vocational training takes three years to train its students with all the qualifications needed beyond just one single employer’s requests. Since most manufacturing employers who speak on the skills gap seem to feel that prospective employees do not hold the technical wherewithal to fulfill the jobs they are applying for, an apprentice program may be the way to go. However, because of the structure of our educational system, it may also be difficult to set up standards across participating schools.
What other ideas have you heard? We want to be a part of the dialogue and we hope that you do too. Be sure to visit the Manufacturing Day website and find a way to participate. Let’s help to show others that we can get back to the days when America was known for building things with our bare hands.