Within the manufacturing industry, training is a huge focus – and for good reason. Manufacturing roles come with their own unique set of challenges, and many can be physically demanding and dangerous. The safety and wellbeing of a workforce rely heavily on the effectiveness of training.
The manufacturing industry is a far cry from what it was fifty years ago. This means organisations need to be continuously embracing change and all the growing pains that go with it. This means that mindsets and skill sets need to evolve too. If they don’t, they’ll get left behind the competition.
The rise of technology and automation within the industry has been something to contend with, and whilst these things have arguably made things easier for manufacturing workers – taking over dangerous procedures and speeding up assembly processes, for instance – computer-aided manufacturing is simply not possible without a skilled and highly-trained workforce.
Collaborative robots, for instance, are becoming more and more popular and accepted, and this is set only to increase in the future. Collaborative robots, or cobots as they are otherwise known, need human intervention in order to do their job. For this reason, employees need to be continuously trained so that they can handle and operate any cobots on the shopfloor, and keep up with the constant innovation.
Tackling the skills shortage
Adding to the challenges of the manufacturing industry is the pressure of skill shortages, caused in part by the retirement of the baby boomers. The perception of STEM careers has suffered in recent years, with manufacturing careers deemed less desirable in the UK than in other countries. As a result, young and tech-savvy generations are currently not turning to careers in manufacturing.
Whilst we should never take the foot off the gas when working to encourage young people into manufacturing, high-quality training allows workforces to be effectively upskilled in the meantime, relieving that pressure without having the challenge of recruiting in.
Manufacturing companies have a long and proud heritage of promoting staff internally. With great training programmes to offer a team and a constant stream of knowledge to be acquired, employees of all levels and ages can continuously learn and move forwards and sideways within their career.
Companies that invest time and money into their workforce’s development are likely to see a positive impact on staff turnover, as research has proven that employees who are constantly learning are more likely to stay put within a company. Low staff turnovers have positive financial effects, as recruitment and high turnovers can be costly – leaving more money to invest into high-quality training programmes.
You’d be hard-pressed to find an industry that doesn’t benefit from consistent training, however this rings particularly true within the manufacturing industry. Innovation is a driving force and it’s this innovation that has allowed it to adapt over the years – be that with the transition into industry 4.0, or COVID-19. At the root of this success is motivated, skilled and highly trained human beings – something always worth investing in.