Show me your skills
The widening skills gap
As many of you may know, there has been a great amount of analysis about skills shortages dating back to 2015. As recently as 2018, The Manufacturing Institute predicted a shortage of 2.4 million skilled workers by 2028. Many areas of supply chain management (SCM) will be hit hard by this shortage, especially manufacturing and transportation.
The time to act is now
As we approach depression-era unemployment levels, it may be tempting to put this issue on the back burner, but doing so could lead to bigger problems. We believe the pandemic will actually accelerate the already growing skills shortage. In the era of COVID, the conversation has turned to shortening supply lines and bringing back manufacturing of critical products as a matter of national security. In addition to this, more automation will play a big role in maintaining physical distance between workers and increasing the resiliency in our supply chains. A recent article by Forbes—Is America Skilled for the Future?—talks about many of these issues. You can check it out here.
So, what can we do?
We still have time to attract and train people to fill the future skills gap. A wide range of actions will be required. This article talks about making supply chain a desirable career choice for students. It poses a number of strategies such as incorporating supply chain into school curricula earlier and making the workplace culture more inclusive and flexible.
Here are some other ideas:
- Take advantage of “career days” at high schools and middle schools.
- Establish training and development programs to continually up-skill your workforce.
- Work with elected officials and advocate for greater resources deployed toward training. This article talks about shaping policy to promote continuous education programs.
- Partner with technical schools, colleges, and universities in your area to recruit graduates and provide input on curricula.
We all have a role to play in ensuring we have the skills required to operate our future supply chains. Share your ideas with us or let us know what you are doing to help close the gap.