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How can the US address the manufacturing skills gap?

December 13, 2018

With a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion over the next decade, a new report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects that the manufacturing skills gap may leave more than 2 million positions unfilled from 2018 to 2028. In the 2018 Skills Gap in Manufacturing Study, the authors find that the talent shortage is accentuated by two factors: a prolonged economic expansion that has increased the number of job openings in manufacturing and projected growth in baby boomer retirement. Although these two factors are expected to lead to more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade, the authors’ research finds that fewer than half of these jobs are likely to be filled. In addition to making the case that this skills shortage poses risks to the broader economy, the authors also put forward strategic approaches to influence a more positive employment future over the long-term.

Examples of recommendations include engaging the overall talent ecosystem and changing the way they recruit and retain talent, and tapping the resources of the retiring, experienced workforce. Additional recommendations include developing in-house training, with a focus on digital technologies, increasing the ability of the current workforce to work alongside automated technologies, and partnering with the public-sector in areas such as apprenticeship programs.

 

manufacturing, workforce