Global Aging and the Manufacturing Workforce
Posted by Bert Maes on January 19, 2010
AGING will have a devastating effect on supplies of high-skilled workers: due to retirement and death large numbers of the most experienced workers from the labor force will be gone. The amount of retirees will be huge. By 2060, 1 in 3 citizens in the EU27 will be over the age of 65. The oldest age group, people aged 80 and above will triple in size.
With the proportion of the working age population falling due to low birthrates, the EU will have 2 working age people for every dependent person over 65 years, compared with 4 to 1 in 2009.
As a result:
- There will be a massive labor shortage;
- Finding and keeping qualified employees is and will be one of the most significant and biggest challenges facing the manufacturing industry. Without them the economical growth slows down, the growth of companies stagnates, production lines can’t be launched, orders go lost to foreign countries (i.e. a great risk for the competitive position of your country);
- The global “Battle for Talent” will intensify. Regions within countries will battle for dwindling supplies of indigenous high-skilled labor (with higher wages and more competitive benefits packages);
- Manufacturing firms will accelerate the trend of locating/relocating labor-intensive operations in countries where labor shortages are less severe.
- Yes, our labor is more costly than it is in other parts of the world. An important way to keep the total cost of labor competitive is to maximize the productivity of each hour of labor, increase productivity per worker
- This shift forces the world into a greater dependence on CNC TECHNOLOGY.
But to get there, we will need MORE SPECIALISTS IN CNC TECHNOLOGY!
Reality shows that we can only increase supply of talent by STRONG EDUCATION and far better educational training provisions.
The biggest challenge is: encourage young people to start education and careers in CNC manufacturing technology, in support of tomorrow’s wealth and safety.