Lower the Skills Gap in Manufacturing Through Technology

Innovation is an ongoing process and technology has made huge leaps in just the last 20 years because of that. Knowing how far technology has come and how simple it can be, why has nothing been done in the manufacturing space to lower the skills gap?

Quality Digest says that we are “in the age of high-definition video games, social networking, and phones that have more capability than your five-year-old laptop”. As technology advances, it is also becoming more user friendly, meaning less training is necessary to understand how to properly operate the technological tools used at our disposal. However, despite technology being more operable and providing a chance to lower the skills gap; the same level of training that has always been required, is still needed to get a manufacturing job.

Tom Kelly, guest expert on DisruptED and Executive Director & CEO of Automation Alley, where you’ll find the World Economic Forum’s US Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, feels that manufactures can lower the skills gap and make manufacturing more fun.

Tom’s Thoughts

“The manufacturers today, and that tends to be my… occurring in all industries, Industries, built business models around technology as it existed over the last 20 years. And so, you require lots of education to understand and digest that technology and that’s the skills gap that we talk about.

Well wake up everybody, because today technology, is easy to understand. If you take a person that says, well, I don’t know how to run a CNC machine, but I can navigate a cell phone and play all kinds of video games and I can do everything, I can… really complex. Shame on the manufacturers for not getting together and say, listen, we gotta make manufacturing fun.

We gotta make it so that I can plop somebody in a VR environment and play a game around. Program, a CNC machine and say, look, if you figure out how to make a key and that key in your virtual world can unlock this door, that door leads to $5,000 and a job with us. Kids would be playing that all day long.”

Click here to view the full DisruptED episode and article.

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