The Importance of Ongoing Education Programs for Temporary Staffing

Between 2018 and 2028, nearly 2.7 million workers are expected to retire from manufacturing jobs in the United States and an additional two million jobs will be created as the industry grows, according to a Deloitte study. However, more than half of these open manufacturing positions remain unfilled, putting $2.5 trillion of manufacturing GDP at risk over the next decade.

In tandem with the strength of the economy and the impending retirement of Baby Boomers, the primary cause of the skills shortage is believed to be a “shifting skill set due to the introduction of new advanced technology and automation,” according to Deloitte. Manufacturing is far from the only industry affected by new technology and if we expect employees to keep up with these shifts in work processes and job requirements, we need to rethink and refresh our approach to building a skilled workforce.

The primary means of addressing the skills gap, for both the manufacturing sector and other industries, lies in the need for further investment in education programs. While on-the-job training and shadowing opportunities are undeniably valuable, the pace of change is exceeding the capacity of these existing training programs to keep up. Given the need to effectively and efficiently train the next generation of skilled workers, consider these recommendations:

1. Offer on-demand, multi-device learning options. Our lives are busier than ever before and carving out time for additional or specialized training can be a challenge in and of itself. By providing the opportunity for workers to learn when and where they want, you are significantly increasing both the likelihood that they will engage with training, and that they will be in the best frame of mind to retain the information.

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2. View education as an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. While many companies have formalized new employee onboarding programs in place, the training generally takes place within the first 30 days of the new role, quickly tapering off and often disappearing entirely. To keep pace with changing technology and maintain overall efficiency, education must be viewed as an ongoing activity, regularly updating and refreshing customers and employees with the latest information to do their jobs well.

3. Leverage existing employees’ knowledge. One of the greatest assets many manufacturers still possess today are workforces that have extremely seasoned workers. These employees have developed their own processes and methodologies which, with a formalized documentation program, can be captured and used for training the next generation of employees or those who take over in the meantime. This is an especially effective method of education for short-term workers who need to get up-and-running quickly.

Whether a company is in need of temporary, short-term workers, or long-term, highly skilled individuals, regular, ongoing education opportunities, in a variety of formats, is the most effective means of bringing workers up-to-speed quickly, and ensuring their long-term success. As Jean-Marc Laouchez, president of the Korn Ferry Institute, a global organizational consulting firm, concludes, “Constant learning — driven by both workers and organizations — will be central to the future of work, extending far beyond the traditional definition of learning and development.”

Aashish Dhamdhere

Aashish Dhamdhere
Aashish Dhamdhere is vice president of marketing at Skilljar.

Aashish Dhamdhere

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