Narrowing the Manufacturing Skills Gap

Joe Weinlick
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Manufacturing companies across the country aim to prepare workers to fill open positions. Unfortunately, many positions remain empty because job candidates lack the credentials, experience and knowledge to operate in these positions. The manufacturing skills gap continues to prevent workers from integrating into the industry to provide its manpower needs. Here are some ways to address the manufacturing skills gap.

Encourage Younger People to Join the Workforce

One of the reasons that narrowing the manufacturing skills gap is so difficult is that fewer young people are joining the manufacturing workforce. Graduates who are fresh out of high school and college tend to opt to enter other industries instead. When an abundance of workers is available, it is easier to fill most roles. By snagging the interest of younger people entering the workforce, it is easier to address the manufacturing skills gap. Many younger job candidates might be moved to join the manufacturing industry if they were made aware of the multiple benefits and perks of holding this type of position. Job security is also important in terms of attracting young people to the field.

Create Educational Partnerships

Job-driven training programs can build relationships between community colleges and manufacturing groups, and they are essential to help more people find employment in the manufacturing field and gain the skills they need to perform efficiently. Local colleges can develop training programs to equip new workers with the manufacturing skills they need to work in various positions, letting program participants ride the fast track to employment with local manufacturing companies. In this way, businesses benefit, and the local economy improves as well.

Launch On-Site Training Initiatives

Bringing current and new workers up to scratch with the proper training is an excellent way to close the manufacturing skills gap. Even if a company hires workers with less experience, proper preparation through solid training initiatives can increase an employee's knowledge of information and procedures necessary to fulfill their duties. Solid training initiatives put forth in the workplace can be incredibly beneficial for manufacturing companies aiming to educate its workforce and provide current and new employee who participate with skills they can utilize immediately. These on-site training programs can be tailored to strengthen employee performance and negate areas of weaknesses. Many firms are deciding to expand the skills of current workers to save money on hiring employees. Workers who are already a part of the company possess industry knowledge that can be expanded through specialized, targeted training.

Form Beneficial Helping Relationships

Constructing beneficial helping relationships within every manufacturing company is essential to help workers upgrade their skills on the job. When a new employee is hired without the necessary skills, he is more likely to fail at the job. Pairing new employees with seasoned ones for a period after they are hired can help them learn new skills more quickly, and it can address the manufacturing skills gap that prevents job candidates with exceptional potential from cultivating the hands-on experience needed for skill development and mastery.

More businesses are making the commitment to launch training initiatives and forge educational unions to supplement their workforce with well-qualified, knowledgeable workers. It is well worth the investment to close the manufacturing skills gap with high-performing employees that can accomplish company goals and objectives with greater ease.

Photo courtesy of Victor Habbick at



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @David it is true that welding is a skill and not everyone can do it. If you feel that you are somehow lacking in skills in the workplace, maybe you could talk to your supervisor about it. Let him know that you feel lacking in certain areas and would like to gain the skills maybe with some formal training or even some on-the-job training.


    It is to bad that workers that already have most skills because people think they can just train someone to be skilled but like in welding which can be very hot and frustraiting. For the most part you can train people for most jobs but you can never make a non welder into a welder because it is a skill not everybody can do, so good luck with that. How about people that have already got experiance doing welding and the skills they do not posses and help us with them

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