On Wednesday, the president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the US, Jay Timmons, said manufacturers in the US have about 428,000 job vacancies at the moment and will be required to fill positions in the excess of 4 million in the next decade.
In December 2018, the result of a survey that featured 539 manufacturer respondents was released. Almost 70 percent of the manufacturers chose their top concern to be the inability to attract and retain talents. Reacting to the result, NAM said five consecutive surveys have shown similar results.
Software engineers, supply chain talent, scientists, operational managers, engineers, and skilled production workers are some of the common unfilled positions according to NAM.
Difficulty in filling these positions have been attributed to several factors including baby boomers retirement, negative perception of the manufacturing industry and change in the skills required to do certain jobs as a result of technological advancement by respondents.
A report released by NAM few days before Timmons’ comment offered a partial solution to the woes faced by manufacturers. They are demanding reform to the country’s immigration that will see more highly skilled workers come into the US.
Several advocates and employer groups are warning the country about the skills gap which refers to the gap between current skills set of American workers and the skill sets they will require to be fit for the future workplace.
Regarding the skills gap, President Trump has created two advisory groups – a workforce policy advisory board and a National Council for the American Worker. He also promised to create 6 million training opportunities in conjunction with the country’s private sector.
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