Future-proof by Upskilling the Workforce

October 27, 2022


Offering your workers the opportunity to upskill through a development program is a great way to ensure better employee retention, as well as provide a strong incentive for new candidates to want to work for you. Not only is it vital that you can upskill your workforce to keep retention figures high, but it also means your business is future-proofed for changes in the industry.

Here are some of the best ways to upskill your manufacturing workforce:

Transform the workplace together

The digital transformation is well and truly underway, with many aspects of manufacturing becoming automated. But this doesn’t mean human workers are becoming obsolete. In fact, quite the opposite. According to the World Economic Forum, top jobs for the next 10 years will rely heavily on human skills like communication and critical thinking.

To prepare for the future, manufacturers need to begin upskilling employees for those abilities, alongside the ability to use data-driven tools for analytics and planning. Include your teams in exploring innovations you can introduce to the workplace with their help, dispelling the misconception of robots replacing workers while giving your staff vital new skills.

Community college partnerships

Want to enhance the skills of your current workforce? Consider partnering with local community colleges that can offer courses to empower your teams to learn skills that will benefit both them and your operations. Most community colleges offer very flexible curriculums and class schedules, making them a perfect option for staff who are busy working through the day.

Engage and encourage your staff to pursue further education with your support and you will find those new abilities paying dividends when they begin to use them in the workplace.

Bring in new talent with high school apprenticeships

High schools are a largely untapped labor pool of highly capable candidates who can bring modern thinking and the latest in education to your workforce. The minimum requirement for most manufacturing jobs is a high school degree, so recruiting students to join your workforce once they graduate is a great way to motivate those who don’t want to go to college to develop the skills that will benefit your operations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 61% of high school graduates aged 16 to 24 went on to college in 2021 — that leaves a huge number of graduates with a high skill set that could join your workforce. And bear in mind that current high schoolers are the most tech-savvy generation, so they’ll be a perfect fit for the manufacturing workplace post-digital transformation.

These are just three examples of how to upskill your workforce, but there are many other ways to future-proof your business. Be open to opportunities that will allow you to upskill through the education of current staff and the introduction of new, digitally skilled workers from different industries and walks of life to diversify your employee base.