Why is the Manufacturing of Tomorrow Relying on Millennials?



Next-generation workers are adept at working with advanced manufacturing technologies

Manufacturing has always been considered a complex industry. The sector is a crucial driver of a nation’s economic growth. With the introduction of the industrial revolutions, the industry has witnessed a tremendous transformation and now advances in technology are revolutionizing the industry at large. Today, almost all manufacturing processes are digitized. From designing a product to giving it to the final face, all the processes are being performed by using digital technologies such as IoT, digital twins and 3D printing, among others.

Since these technologies require enhanced skills and knowledge to use them in a better way, millennials are making up their way into this complex environment. Undeniably, the next-generation of employees will be tech-savvy. And that is why they are becoming a perfect match for manufacturing. The millennial generation is looking at the industry in new ways and expecting it to learn new tricks.

Reports show that as of 2015, the millennial generation has overtaken baby boomers to be the largest generation of the American population. According to a Deloitte analysis report, in collaboration with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute, a majority of people in the U.S. survey, roughly 8 in 10, considers manufacturing as vital for the country’s economic prosperity. However, less than 5 in 10 Americans believe jobs in this industry are interesting, rewarding, clean, safe, stable, and secure. 

The report further divulged that many US executives in the industry face a set of new and evolving challenges, primarily the issue of talent. A large number of manufacturers have a critical talent shortage issue. And it is projected the country’s manufacturing industry will face an expected shortage of two million workers over the 2015–2025 period owing to the availability of a qualified workforce, changing dynamics of the skillsets needed for advanced manufacturing and perceived attractiveness of the industry among the general public. Thus, manufacturers need to be willing to change and change quickly to lure young talent. 

On the other side, 37 percent of them see manufacturing as a high-tech career, while just 27 percent of generation X and 23 percent of baby boomers had the same perception, according to another research. Over the years, it has been seen that the IT industry remains the most enticing domain for many millennials. But the ever-increasing overlap of technology and manufacturing has created a new sort of jobs in the industry.


Redefining Future Manufacturing with the Supply of Skilled Workers 

While manufacturing is a very old, long-decade industry, its systems and operations are based on legacy software. Now as the industry is on the brink of digital transformation, it requires younger workers well-equipped with modern technical knowledge and proficient in using advanced systems. This means there is a need for an adequate supply of millennials with STEM skills. Besides, manufacturers are required to work on retooling their recruitment strategies to attract a young talent pool. They need to implement solutions designed to pull in a younger workforce, from mentorship programs to expanded benefits packages and others.