The more we develop the manufacturing skills of our youth, the more manufacturing will come back
Posted by Bert Maes on May 19, 2011
Things should not always be made in the country with the lowest wages. And there is a simple reason:
Chinese graduates lack the level of skills that global manufacturers expect, even when they produce thousands of those graduates, Deloitte reports. Firms face problems in finding people with adequate leadership skills, team work, English skills, problem-solving abilities, and managerial skills.
The Chinese education system simply does not inculcate independent critical thinking, which is a pre-requisite for working in today’s manufacturing environment.
Manufacturing is a multidimensional world that is not only about cost-driven decisions anymore. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) lists several examples of companies that have already brought plants and jobs back to America. And that is not only because of the rising labor costs in China (pay for factory workers in China soared by 69% between 2005 and 2010) but even more because of the shortage of skilled workers in China.
Caterpillar, a maker of vehicles that dig, pull or plough; Sauder, an American furniture-maker; NCR producing cash machines; and the Frisbee and Hula Hoop manufacturer Wham-O are restoring their production from China to the West.
This clearly shows that the more we develop the manufacturing skills of the youth of our nation, the more manufacturing is expected to return to us. The HTEC program has significant value to build the skills necessary for modern factories. Manufacturing workforce shortage continues, unless large manufacturing companies commit to invest in these advanced training and skills.