What is the skills gap?
The skills gap refers to a knowledge threshold that is met by few in the manufacturing industry, and ultimately results in hundreds of thousands of vacant positions that can only be filled by a small percentage of high-skilled workers, leaving hundreds of thousands of under qualified workers unemployed. The need for manufacturing experts will soon outweigh the cost of training time required for a new worker to achieve the same skill set. The limited training that exists now leaves employees in the same position for years, and that was safe for a time. Now, with an understanding of the roles that the boomer generation were filling in and leaving vacant we can better comprehend the issues associated with automation in the industrial world.
In a BCG article titled “The U.S. Skills Gap: Could It Threaten a Manufacturing Renaissance” we learn that the retirement of vocational workers, and the increasing demand for high skilled workers only deepens the pit of consequences that manufacturers will fall into as early as this year.
Day-to-day the skills gap affects two groups of people, the organizations that need skilled labor, and the workers who are seeking work but don’t qualify for the new jobs being created by automation and AI. Due to the cost and time associated with hiring and training, organizations can’t train fast enough, and companies are fighting over skilled or trained workers who are capable of performing high skilled tasks.
The training required to reach this level of knowledge and ability has a heavy tradeoff of time, and although the expert’s position has become necessary, few are prepared to take over when that expert retires or leaves the position. Eventually, the expert’s knowledge is relied upon to maximize capital, across a large production floor. Yet, companies still lose millions from downtime. The knowledge experts carry with them is either tucked away in a filing cabinet or on the person, neither easily available nor transferable at the time they leave. The inability to transfer knowledge fast enough for new workers to catch on is one of the largest problems in an organization.
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Economic risks of the skills gap
In 2018, Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute released a study identifying the economic risks that grow due to the skill labor shortage. According to the study, there is 454 billion US dollars in value that is risked by 2028 as a result of skills shortage. Companies are losing billions of potential revenue as they have to turn down high volume jobs and solve for unscheduled machinery downtime and repairs. Additionally, based on the report there will be 2.4 million jobs unfilled if the unemployment percentage continues to grow, thereby making production projections unreachable.
Leveraging advanced technology for the solution
Worker training is not uniform across the industry, so Baltu Technologies developed a product that is completely changing the way companies bring training to their employees. This method works to eliminate risks associated with the skill labor shortage. This is an opportunity for businesses to leverage advanced technology to upskill the worker, not replace them, and maximize their human capital ROI. Baltu Technologies is aiming at reducing the time to train by 50%. Really. SuperDoc is a Just-In-Time training platform that delivers information to a user in real time. SuperDoc allows workers to troubleshoot and diagnose complex machinery without calling an expert, thus reducing unplanned machinery downtime by at least 10% by eliminating factors that would require dispatching an expert.
This technology delivers step-by-step instructions on how to complete a task. Using a mobile device, a worker can get the most valuable information just by scanning a QR code. Workers can access tasks and procedures associated with the existing equipment and receive instructions on how to do them. This solution is reinventing on-the-job training and improving knowledge retention, making training 50% more efficient. There’s more that SuperDoc can do for a company, like improving documentation, collecting expert’s notes and comments, uploading photos or work history. If you’d like to see more, check out our product page.
SuperDoc directly addresses the skills gap and provides immediate relief to companies facing the lack of skilled labor. With this technology workers become productive in days rather than weeks. Unlike other available solutions, SuperDoc helps organizations by focusing on empowering the worker, improving training, improving documentation, and increasing worker confidence. Regardless of previous skills or experience, workers will be equipped to handle high skilled tasks and receive specialized knowledge on demand. If you’re ready to try SuperDoc and see what it can do for your organization, you can request a demo here.