US manufacturers spend billions to close skills gap - Just Style
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US manufacturers spend billions to close skills gap

By Michelle Russell 21 Jan 2020

US manufacturers are expected to spend at least US$26.2bn this year on internal and external training programmes to try to close the skills gap for new and existing workers.

US manufacturers are expected to spend at least US$26.2bn this year on internal and external training programmes to try to close the skills gap for new and existing workers.

Based on the results of a survey by The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the vast majority of manufacturers (79.4%) are increasing their workforce training efforts.

“Manufacturers are clear-eyed about the challenge ahead: the future of the manufacturing industry will be tied to the future of its workforce,” says Manufacturing Institute executive director Carolyn Lee. “That’s why manufacturers across the country are doubling down on implementing workforce training efforts, and the MI will continue to offer programming to help solve these issues as well as working with them to excite, educate and empower the next generation of industry leaders.

“Manufacturers consistently cite the inability to attract and retain talent as their top concern, and as this survey underlines, they are taking strong proactive steps to overcome it. Manufacturers are growing and investing significantly in the kind of workforce training programs that we know are so critical to combatting the skills gap.”

The most recent NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey found that skilled labour was the top business challenge facing manufacturers, and a landmark report by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that 2.4m manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2028 if the right steps aren’t taken now.

In July 2019, the NAM signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, with manufacturers committing to provide training opportunities to 1,186,000 manufacturers over the next five years to address the skills gap.