How to Start Closing Your Skills Gap

The skills gap can have a crippling impact on companies and the larger economy.

Furthermore, the rate of technological change is only making the problem worse. Roles are evolving quickly, as technology and emerging trends add complexity and require training. According to a recent Career Builder survey, two in five employers are now hiring individuals with college degrees for positions that had been held by workers with high school diplomas. Sixty-one percent of these organizations credited this to the jobs now needing more advanced skill sets.

Companies are also finding it harder to fill their open positions, with many businesses having job openings that remain vacant for months. Businesses say extended job vacancies are costing them greater than $800,000 each year.

If your company currently isn’t dealing with a skills gap, it might be soon. Here are a few steps to address this issue today.

Network in your industry and community

If you want more professionals with up-to-date skills at your company, you’ll have to network and market your company properly. Company representatives should attend career fairs at local community colleges and trade schools to let younger generations know your company is looking to hire new talent. Also, events like Manufacturing Day provide great opportunities to reach out and build relationships with emerging talent.

If there aren’t local programs in place to promote manufacturing, start one. Go to a nearby high school and offer to give plant tours to students. Use grassroots endeavors to get more people curious about the manufacturing industry.

Set up a training program

Among the more ideal ways to close the skills gap at your company is by doing it yourself. It is becoming a lot harder for employers to locate people with the exact set of skills they need to succeed.

Get ahead of the game by locating hires with the desire and ability to gain new skills. Then, set up formal training programs to get your new hires up to date. Your new staff members would be gaining knowledge from someone with inside knowledge about your company and their role in it.

If you have the resources, begin an apprenticeship program that includes both structured, on-the-job training and classroom education. The on-the-job learning will guarantee experience gained by your staff members is not lost as older employees head into retirement. In fact, now is a great time to invest in a program such as the federal government looks to supports apprenticeships nationwide.

Retain millennial workers

In order to ensure your workers will have the skills of today and ability to learn the skills of tomorrow, you must develop a culture that inspires younger staff members to remain with your company and grow.

Make your younger employees feel valued at your business and in the manufacturing industry in general. All of your workers, and younger workers in particular, should feel like they have a say in the direction of the company. Your company should also invest in assets that can help close the skills gap, like keeping software programs up-to-date. These efforts lead to a low turnover and staff members referring other people to apply to your company.

At Labor Temps, we regularly help our client companies address their specific labor needs. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your organization.