Welding skills gap is definitely a challenge for employers;yet, it also presents amazing opportunities for many.
If you are working in the manufacturing industry, you have heard of a skills gap. It reiter to existing and growing shortage of skilled workforce in the manufacturing sector. This is not isolated to a single country; this is a world-level problem. There are some numbers thrown around. Though those are all estimations, they are scary enough. We will expect a shortage of around 500,000 skilled workers by 2020 in the US alone. As suggested in some studies, there will have been a shortage of 2 million skilled workers here by early 2025. This shortage is sure a challenge for employers in particular and the manufacturing sector in general; yet, it also presents amazing opportunities for many.
The skills gap is associated with shortage of applicants for manufacturing positions with proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Lack of those skills strikes many jobs, some of the most hit are: researchers, machinists, researchers and welders.
This shortage is created by some factors, and the main ones are:
1. Average age of skilled workers
Many more workers are retiring, posting the challenge of looking for workers with comparable skills.
2. Perception of manufacturing as a 'dirty' sector
By manufacturing, many of the young associate it with being dirty and requiring lots of physical activities. They prefer desk jobs that utilize software and technology to shop-floor jobs regardless of pay. There is a great deal of technology in manufacturing; we just need do a better job changing perception of this industry for young generations.
3. Poor on-the-job training
Just a few enterprises have excellent training programs for their workers. This is required for staying on top of latest technology and staying competitive. Investing in human resources also boosts up employee morale and lower turnover.
4. Poor education of youth
A significant number of high school graduates express interest in the STEM careers; still, just a humble number meet the required level of proficiency.
All those seem like bad news. It is, indeed. Still, there are numerous programs in place, and many more coming to deal with the skills gap issue. In spite of the challenges, the skills gap provides many opportunities to employers and skilled workers.
Opportunities for employers
If employers can offer excellent internal training programs, they can improve skills and secure qualified welded welders. This leads to less turnover and reduced costs. It will also help keep updated with technology and become more cost competitive in the market.
Opportunities for job seekers
For those wanting to land a job in manufacturing, this is also an opportunity. There will be lots of jobs. Still, it is important to bear in mind that there are many available vacancies that is not synonymous that employers are lower standards. Employees that excel in their trade will entertain higher pay and perks.
Is your enterprise already being hit by the skills gap?What are you doing about it?