Does the Skilled Labor Shortage Have You Down?
The skilled labor shortage phenomenon has been gaining traction in the news lately. A perfect storm of demographics and changes in educational initiatives are creating conditions where employers are having a difficult time finding job candidates with the skills or credentials needed to fill their job openings.
According to the World Economic Forum, this issue is being exacerbated by changes in technology, creating conditions where talent shortages, mass underemployment and unemployment as well as growing inequality, reskilling and upskilling of today’s and tomorrow’s workers will be critical. It will also be critical that businesses, educators and individuals take a more active role in supporting workforce considerations in lifelong learning and retraining.
Material handling and supply chain are not immune to this predicament. And, in fact, some estimates are particularly bleak in the sense that the rapid demand in growth and technological change experienced in the industry may not be offset by proportional rises in job candidates with the skills needed to perform these jobs.
What are businesses to do? One first step could be to proactively collaborate with local educational institutions to identify programming and curricula addressing the needed skills or certifications. “No company can solve critical skill shortages alone,” says Dr. David DeLong, president of Smart Workforce Strategies and a research fellow at the MIT AgeLab. “Effective partnerships and collaboration between industry and academia are going to be essential to closing the skills gap in this country.”