Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Manufacturing executives see large gaps in skilled labour, survey says


May 30, 2012
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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More than half of Canadian manufacturing executives who took part in a survey see large gaps in skilled labour, according to a new PwC barometer report for the first quarter of 2012.

Current approaches used by organizations in the industrial manufacturing sector to attract talent are not enough to meet the needs of Generation Y (Gen Y or millennials- those born from the early 1980s onwards), a group that will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020.

The tactics used by the manufacturing industry to attract talent are more aligned to draw the baby boomers (born 1943-1960) and Generation X (born between 1961-1981) demographic group, rather than attracting millennials.  Findings from more than 40 senior manufacturing executives surveyed specified that:

A majority of organizations continue to use traditional sources to attract talent, such as posting internally (90 per cent), agencies (54 per cent), job boards (56 per cent) and their company website (76 per cent).

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A significant portion (87 per cent) of respondents said they used social media sites only moderately.

“As the manufacturing industry faces a change in the workforce, it’s critical for Canadian manufacturers to start using these non-traditional channels if they are to attract and retain the best talent from Gen Y to fill their skilled labour requirements,” Teresa Carvalho, a managing director with PwC’s consulting and deals practice, said in a statement.

For Gen Ys, it’s not only about securing a job and the traditional incentive programs such as bonuses. They’re looking for more mentoring, career-path development and variable pay components. However, 90 per cent of the Canadian industrial manufacturing organizations offer traditional forms of compensation. Only 44 per cent and 42 per cent respectively offer career-path development and mentoring.

“Understanding the changing values of the millennials and adjusting to meet their requirements should be on the agenda for Canadian industrial manufacturing companies,” said Carvalho. “Gen Ys are looking for rewards that specifically fit their requirements and where they are in life. Manufacturing executives need to think about flexible working arrangements and initiating creative programs for professional development in order to attract top recruits from universities.”