Building An Industry 4.0 Workforce

With the introduction of new technologies, Industry 4.0 has changed how manufacturing works. As a result, it’s also changed who is needed to work within the industry. While traditional skills like machining and tooling are tremendously valuable, manufacturers now require employees with proficiency in fields like augmented reality, big data, and robotics, to get the most out of all the new technology.

Manufacturing Hiring

These are some of the new roles that will be needed to succeed in Industry 4.0:

  • Process Engineers help to integrate new technology that enhances worker productivity. They design and implement pieces of equipment that transform raw materials into products.
  • Data Scientists analyze industrial data to find opportunities and circumvent potential problems. They use databases and programming languages to process data and search for trends or correlations that could provide industrial insights.
  • Software Developers ensure devices are speaking the same language. They build proprietary tools for specific needs and applications.
  • Software and Services Support Technicians maintain machines and software systems. They also help customers and other employees understand how to fix technical problems.

Overcoming Hiring Challenges

While many manufacturing companies recognize the need to hire this new breed of tech-savvy employee, actually doing so is often easier said than done. Many are having trouble attracting qualified and interested candidates for these roles.

The industrial space may be dripping with opportunity, but its image is plagued with misconceptions such as a lack of career advancement. Manufacturers have not sufficiently invested in public relations and recruitment. Fortunately employers can address this issue by developing and advertising appealing career programs. They can also build relationships with sources of talent.

Here are some specific examples of recruitment initiatives to help combat the skills gap:

  • Companies can partner with nonprofits that train and place manufacturing candidates. Take Workshops for Warriors, an organization that acts as a talent pipeline for veterans who are interested in industrial careers.
  • Offering an internship program can attract potential full-time employees. Arconic, a New Jersey-based aerospace manufacturer, recently posted a listing for a manufacturing intern and has received more exposure online.
  • Partnering with local educational institutions can be effective. Jamestown Community College has advanced manufacturing partnerships with the Manufacturing Association of the Southern Tier.

Tapping Into Your Existing Talent

While bringing in outside talent may be inevitable, company leaders should not forget about their current employees. If your employees have the desire and capacity to learn new skills, keeping them on and augmenting their abilities through training could prove invaluable. Doing so will allow you to overcome hiring obstacles, preserve legacy knowledge, engender employee loyalty, and take advantage of Industry 4.0 technologies at the same time.

Having the right talent is crucial to thriving in Industry 4.0. However, there’s a lot more that manufacturers must do in order succeed in this new industrial era. To learn more, download our free eBook, The 4 Keys To Industry 4.0 Success.

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