Help Wanted! AMERICAN MANUFACTURING COMPETITIVENESS AND THE LOOMING SKILLS GAP
Editor's Comments: We know that manufacturing is crucial to the U.S. and Canadian economy. Yet according to the report from Deloitte Consulting, LLP; it is the "shortage of talent due to a combination of retirements and jobs being displaced overseas that leaves a significant loss of embedded knowledge and generational gap in technical skills in the U.S. and many European countries." In fact the report tells us that 6 out of 10 open skilled production jobs are unfilled due to the shortage. This is important because the availability and quality of talent was identified by thousands of executives worldwide as the 'most critical ingredient' in a company's ability to engage in advanced manufacturing and foster talent-driven innovation.
This eye opening report is certainly worth reading!
The future of manufacturing has been a topic of debate over the past decade. By the time the new millennium rolled around, many considered manufacturing a relic of the 20th century and not meaningful for developed nations in a 21st-century knowledge, information, and services economy. Making things had given way to other forms of adding value in a developed economy, and many developed nations, including the United States, watched, and often encouraged, their manufacturing sectors being displaced, outsourced, and diminished in favour of low-cost products and cleaner, supposedly smarter, and more sustainable service sectors such as financial services and health care. But the Great Recession that began in 2007–2008 caused a rethinking in established economies in North America, Western Europe, and Japan. It seemed manufacturing did indeed matter. Enormous effort and taxpayer money were spent to “save” the automobile industry and associated jobs in the United States, Canada, Germany, and Japan.
Manufacturing jobs that had long been off-shored were now coveted by both developed and emerging nations for their generally higher wages, strong multiplier effect on other jobs in the economy, positive impact on the prosperity of the middle class, and their critical linkage to a nation’s innovation ecosystem. Americans in particular were clamouring for more manufacturing jobs. In an annual survey of the US general public by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute, conducted from 2009 through 2014, US citizens selected manufacturing first each and every year when asked to rank industries in which they would most prefer to create a thousand new jobs. Read the entire report.