Bridging the Skills Gap When it Comes to Industry 4.0 Technologies

Industry 4.0 technologies are helping us make strides in manufacturing but they’re also exacerbating the skills gap – at least, that’s what some people say.

There is no denying that Industry 4.0 technologies have made factories smarter, more agile, and safer.

Though, in this process, they’ve created a need to have a workforce that has a specific set of skills and capabilities. While some may think that industry 4.0 is only contributing to a growing skills gap, we believe it also opens up opportunities to address this skills gap.

Some of the ways in which you can bridge the gap include:

Shift Your Focus to On-The-Job Training

On-the-job training has traditionally been one of the main ways in which companies upskilled new and existing employees.

Though, when it comes to Industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing, as the focus is on continued innovation, the processes and procedures are evolving fast. This is why it is essential to focus on on-the-job training programs that are scalable, personalized, and flexible.

The idea is to get employees comfortable with technology. With Industry 4.0, you can replace traditional training methods with new alternatives that actually leverage technology.

For instance, customized training programs and modules can be developed to help upskill current or new employees, a wealth of data can be stored and provided on-demand, and real-time feedback on training initiatives can be shared with supervisors.

Social Intelligence and Smart Software

With industrial automation, the required skills for the manufacturing industry have seen a significant shift. With manual, repetitive tasks increasingly being taken over by machines, social intelligence is more important for today’s workforce than ever.

Some of these skills of the future include creative thinking, problem-solving, and team-building.

Additionally, your workforce also needs to be trained on using software solutions. The more they know, the more they are able to take advantage of the full functionalities of technology available to them.

Software solution providers research Industry 4.0 trends and technologies before most other businesses. Hence, they are able to integrate the latest capabilities via new updates. This is why it is recommended to get software upgrades and training support.

For instance, when it comes to ERP system solutions, such as SYSPRO, Dynamics GP, and Business Central, they stay competitive by providing the best value and latest attributes to their users.

Focus on Educating the Younger Generation

As industry automation and smart manufacturing are all about artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud computing, and robotics – wouldn’t the sector be of interest to the youth?

Well, not really.

According to the L2L Manufacturing Index, only 27% of Generation Z respondents showed an interest in working in the manufacturing industry. This group considers manufacturing jobs boring in comparison to millennials and the general population.

To ensure that we are bridging the gap today and tomorrow – there has to be a focus on creating awareness about where the manufacturing industry is headed and the opportunities it is creating for Generation Z – on a broader level.

Additionally, industry leaders, researchers, and professors would also have to work together to create innovative education models and fine-tune co-op program curricula at community and technical colleges. These educational and training programs will be more effective in equipping the future workforce with critical skills and competencies that will be required.

Would you like to know more about Industry 4.0 technologies and how you can become an industry disruptor rather than becoming disrupted?

At SHEA Global, we partner with our customers on their upskilling and automation journeys. Take our free Industry 4.0 Assessment to get started or enhance the processes you currently have in place.