Skilling the industry
Skilling the industry

Skilling the industry

If, like many manufacturers, you’re finding that acquiring skilled workers that can meet the challenges of the factory of the future is becoming a pressing concern for your business, help is at hand. Here we take a look at the circumstances surrounding the manufacturing skilled labor shortage and explain what we’re doing to help you counteract this issue.

With spending inching closer to pre-pandemic levels, many manufacturers are increasing their production volumes. However, uncertainties, such as the continuing disruption in the supply chain, volatility in energy and currency exchange, and the pandemic are, for many, proving to be problematic. The challenge of finding skilled workers, particularly in newer job areas, such as digitalization, is further exacerbating the issue. One report estimates that the global manufacturing labor shortage could exceed 7.9 million people by 2030, resulting in a potential revenue loss of $607.1 billion. Many countries now have aging populations and thousands of baby-boomers are reaching retirement every day. Not only is this resulting in the loss of highly skilled workers, but also the loss of their knowledge and experience. So, it’s more important than ever that manufacturing companies make themselves attractive as employers, both to encourage new people to work for them and to retain their existing staff.

A workforce fit for the factory of the future

Another major challenge that the manufacturing industry faces is the rapid pace of change where technology is concerned. The digitalized approach of Industry 4.0 and the factory of the future offers tremendous potential and opportunity for manufacturers to enhance flexibility and stability in their value streams, yet people are needed to implement, operate and manage this advanced digital technology. In fact, a whole new range of skills and expertise is needed from the manufacturing workforce – not just for the future, but for the here and now. Exciting opportunities are already opening up – in management, the analysis of big data, planning and decision making. On the factory floor, people are needed to operate, coordinate, oversee and work alongside connected machines. And, of course, all this machinery and technology needs to be maintained.

Bosch Rexroth Academy training room

One of the ways manufacturers can counteract these issues is through the specific vocational training of employees. Providing vocational training opportunities to employees not only makes a business more attractive as an employer, it is also the only way for a company to keep pace with technological advancements, giving them a competitive advantage and enabling them to be more innovative and progressive.

How vocational training can help your business:

  • Attracts and retains employees: Training and development opportunities are an important factor for people seeking employment. At a time when good candidates are in high demand, it’s particularly important that your business stands out from the crowd. Offering a lifelong learning program also helps to motivate and retain existing staff.
  • Bolsters formal qualifications: Formal qualifications are an excellent foundation, but vocational training provides the up-to-the-minute specialist technical training that’s critical to modern manufacturing businesses.
  • Makes production more efficient and reduces costs: Companies that have the in-house expertise needed to implement Industry 4.0 approaches independently can save money that otherwise would be spent on external consultants. Currently, large companies are driving digital transformation and expect suppliers to fit into this new world, which can be a major challenge for SMEs. With training, your employees can learn how to collect data from machines and convert it into higher quality and productivity.
  • Minimizes downtime: It’s estimated that downtime costs factories at least 5% of their productivity capacity, but for many it’s as high as 20%. If a machine has a fault that can’t be diagnosed or adequately described by the operator, a maintenance technician has to be called – and that’s before the part can be ordered and the machine repaired. However, if the operator has had the relevant training and can diagnose the fault, the maintenance technician can arrive directly with the right spare part at the right place, reducing downtime and saving you valuable time and money. This makes training a particularly good investment, especially when you consider that an hour of machine failure costs more than a week of training.
  • Enables greater flexibility: These days, customers want customized products, and demand volatility is a continuous issue, so manufacturers and suppliers have to convert their production lines on a regular basis. This is only economically feasible with your own people. Training them in the necessary technologies ensures that your business can remain competitive and secure jobs in the long-term.
Bosch Rexroth Academy training facilities

Training from Bosch Rexroth Academy

Vocational educational systems are often slow to adapt to new technologies and job requirements, which is one of the reasons we set up our own training academy. The Bosch Rexroth Academy offers high quality training that increases competency and provides qualifications, ranging from basic knowledge to specialist technical training. We offer more than 100 different training courses in the fields of factory automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) / Industry 4.0, hydraulics for industrial and mobile applications, and pneumatics. Customer-specific training and selective technical training on site at the customer’s premises are available.

Our training programs are well-suited to a broad range of people, including young professionals looking for job specific content, specialists that need to deepen their knowledge in particular areas, service technicians, trainers and teachers that need to acquire specialist knowledge, and managers that need the right input in order to make responsible decisions.

People using Bosch Rexroth Academy training equipment

As well as providing training to our industry customers, we also offer practice-oriented training in educational institutions worldwide, with training systems based on our products, technologies and manufacturing skills, to give learners real-life practical experience, as well as the supporting course materials.

Systematic and continuous learning enables your employees to stay up to date with the latest technologies and helps to give your business a competitive advantage, while also helping you to retain valuable staff. Although training does have a cost, in today’s highly competitive market, and with the skilled manufacturing labor shortage an ongoing issue, the cost of not providing training is far greater.

Find out more about Bosch Rexroth Academy