Skills shortage - Time for a change?
Whilst attending an International Manufacturing Business show in Liverpool, a number of guest speakers were discussing Industry 4.0 and Brexit when the topic of Skills Shortage came up (AGAIN).
“100,000 new engineers will be required over the next 10 years” was one statistic banded around. 1 in 3 millennials would live until they were over 100 and they would need to reskill 3 times during their career. This got me thinking how our generation could change our mindset and harness tomorrow’s generation to be more engaging, attracting the best back into our industry.
We often criticise younger generations (as our parents and grandparents criticised us), how the they have it easy and how they leave education not work ready and with a lack of imagination that has been brought about by a spoon-fed education system based on results.
I thought... STOP. Turn this upside down and rather than focus on the negatives, let's focus on the positives the next generations can offer us.
These young people are born in a rapidly evolving environment with information and technologies changing the way people interact and behave almost on a weekly basis. Maybe it's us that need to change our thinking and us that need to reskill to fit in with the environment.
Like most business owners my age, we worked hard during our youth, gained skills and learnt our trade and industry until we became expert enough to make a good living. We then locked those skills and beliefs away which became the gospel on how things should be, never to be changed or questioned.
Why should they? Those rules have held us in good stead so they must be right.
Well maybe that's wrong!
Britain is a great, world leading island. We are fantastic at so many things yet we focus too often on the negatives and not shout about the positives. How about we challenge our own beliefs and open our world to tomorrows new dawn?
How do we get young people to engage with our sector? In my mind it's simple. We make it exciting and sexy, we encourage creativity and we create a platform for our staff to demonstrate their abilities and skills to get satisfaction of their own and develop themselves to deliver in a world they are accustomed to.
Innovation will bring trade to our shores and this is what is going to make this country great again.
Yes, this comes with risk and sometimes mistakes will be made along the way, but tomorrow’s business world is the next generations world not ours, shouldn't they be moulding it?
There has never been a better time to harness the new era of technology and to reskill our mindset. So many business rules are being rewritten and we should be welcoming this change. This is what can make the UK a world leader in innovation again and secure prosperity and certainty in an increasingly uncertain world.
Use the young engineers to bring their exciting world into our work spaces and I believe the Skills Shortage will fix itself. We as employees and business owners have a duty to encourage innovation and challenge our own beliefs.
After all, that's what has in the past and is going to make Britain GREAT.