Tanya M. Anandan, contributing editor of “Robotics Industries Association, published an article titled “Closing the Skills Gap in Automation: A Call for Action.”
Manufacturers are adopting more automation than ever before. For many, it’s no longer a question of whether to automate, only when and to what extent. With wages offshore rising, robot prices down and performance up, robot sales are at an all all-time high.
Meanwhile, an aging workforce moves closer to retirement. Misconceptions of manufacturing as crude and demoralizing persist. Women and other minorities are still underrepresented. The skills gap is growing. Demand for automation talent outweighs supply.
The result over the next decade according to a skills gap report by Deloitte: 3.4 million jobs, but only 1. 4 million qualified workers. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see the huge disparity here.
Anandan wrote this article as a call for action, with a panel of automation professionals weighing in, sharing ways to bridge the skills gap, recruit talent, and prepare our future workforce.
Anandan argues the the industry “need[s] to provide access to the hands-on training, educational tools, and early childhood STEM building blocks integral to shaping our technical talent.”
In this article, Anandan explores the topics of:
- The Great Divide
- Rethinking Community Colleges
- Industrial Robotics Concentration
- Hands-on, Real-World
- Academia-Industry Bridge
- Well-Rounded Engineers
- Co-op Programs
- Industry Ambassadors
- Robotics Education Carts and Curriculum
- and more.
As one industry expert put it so aptly, “If a robot can take your job, you need to up your game.” As an industry, we need to up our game. We need to provide access to the hands-on training, educational tools, and early childhood STEM building blocks integral to shaping our technical talent.
When they said it takes a village, it does. It takes automation suppliers and users, colleges, technical and career centers, government, parents and teachers, mentors and volunteers … all working together. It won’t happen overnight. A problem three decades in the making will take time to correct, to shift that trajectory in the right direction and fill the gap. Some are already on the right track.