10 Million Unfilled Manufacturing Jobs
In a report, The Future of Manufacturing: Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth, recently released by the World Economic Forum (the Forum) in collaboration with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), the report estimates that 10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot currently be filled due to a growing skills gap.
Even with high unemployment, companies are having problems finding highly trained workers and engineers and an organization can’t grow without more skilled workers.
Approximately 5 MM+ manufacturing jobs are unfilled in India and another 3 MM+ manufacturing jobs in China and approximately 600,000 jobs in the US are unfilled due to the skills gap of the available employees. The greatest shortages exist in skilled production workers, technologists, scientists and design engineers.
The CEO of Caterpillar said “Caterpillar’s difficulty finding qualified hourly production staff, technicians, and engineering personnel is hurting our manufacturing base in the US.”
Employers in Japan (80%), India (67%), Brazil (57%) and United States (52%) were more likely to report problems finding talented workers. The skills gap is also being created by an aging manufacturing workforce that are retiring globally at a rate of 65,000 people a day. This trend is expected to continue for the next 10 years. Due to this skills shortage, many companies are delaying their growth plans.
Manufacturing’s share of global value added has declined from 35% in 1985 to 27% in 2008 and it continues to decline while services global value added has grown to 70%. Although manufacturing’s share of value added has declined, Manufacturing is still vital because for every $1.00 in manufacturing value added, another $1.40 in value added in other sectors is created (From the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis)
In order to bridge this skills gap, new collaborations between academia, corporations and private organizations around the globe are being created. In the US, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), is working with high schools and community colleges to provide customized training and education for a “work-ready manufacturing workforce.”
Bottom line, there may be a skills gap, but for the last couple of years US manufacturing has been growing as more have come to understand the importance of US manufacturing in growing the US economy. As the skills gap is addressed, this will only increase the growth of US manufacturing.
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