The worker shortage in manufacturing is nothing new–it’s been a part of the industry since at least 2005.
But a coming wave of Baby Boomer retirements could make that shortage even worse. There already aren’t enough skilled workers to fill the many open jobs in manufacturing, and that’s expected to be exacerbated by a large percentage of the workforce retiring in the near future.
This mass retirement of Baby Boomers may mean trouble if it’s not addressed properly over the next several years, but it could also mean very good things for younger generations who choose to weather the storm. And by weather the storm, we mean get technical training and find a place in the industry.
There are companies who have set themselves up to thrive through the Boomer Exodus, and they set a great example for manufacturers looking to make the most of the worsening skills gap. The good news about those companies’ (and others) involvement in reducing the skills gap is that it means more hands-on training and mentoring for younger people.
Manufacturers around now realize that the majority of their workforce is older, and that they need to start recruiting young people if they want to close the skills gap. That means more mentoring, more training, and generally, more one-on-one time with manufacturers looking to expand their workforce. Add that to the many jobs that will open up as a result of the coming Boomer retirement, and young people are in a pretty good place.
Young people may not have all the answers, but they are most certainly going to be a critical element of manufacturing’s growth moving forward. And for young people and students looking to get educated and move on to a satisfying career, few fields show as many promise as manufacturing.
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