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September 10, 2022
4 min read time

Cultivating a Culture of Upskilling in Manufacturing

Addressing the skills gap is a significant challenge that all manufacturers are facing. As technology rapidly evolves, the demand for new skills is increasing, while the availability of a skilled workforce is decreasing. It's never been more critical for manufacturers to create and maintain a culture that upskills their workforce. 

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of upskilling in the manufacturing industry and how it can empower growth for both employees and businesses.

The Benefits of Upskilling in the Manufacturing Industry

Upskilling is essential for manufacturers to stay competitive in today's rapidly evolving industry. By providing training and development opportunities for their employees, manufacturers can ensure that their workforce has the necessary skills to adapt to technological advancements and industry trends.

One of the main benefits of upskilling is increased productivity. When employees are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills, they can perform their tasks more efficiently, leading to improved output and reduced errors. This not only boosts the overall productivity of the manufacturing process but also enhances the quality of the products.

Additionally, upskilling helps manufacturers address the skills gap. With the rapid advancement of technology, many traditional manufacturing jobs are becoming obsolete, while new jobs requiring specialized skills are emerging. By investing in upskilling programs, manufacturers can bridge this skills gap by retraining their existing workforce and equipping them with the skills needed for the future of manufacturing.

Moreover, upskilling plays a crucial role in employee retention and engagement. When manufacturers invest in the development of their employees, it demonstrates a commitment to their growth and career advancement. This creates a sense of loyalty and satisfaction among employees, leading to higher job satisfaction and reduced turnover rates. Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to stay with the company and contribute to its long-term success.

Benefits of Upskilling in the Manufacturing Industry infographic

Challenges  Related to the Skills Gap

Addressing the skills gap is a significant challenge faced by manufacturers. As technology rapidly evolves, the demand for new skills is increasing, while the availability of a skilled workforce is decreasing. This gap poses a threat to the manufacturing industry's ability to innovate and remain competitive.

One of the main challenges in addressing the skills gap is the cost and time required for upskilling programs. Implementing comprehensive training programs can be expensive and time-consuming, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers. 

Moreover, the fast-paced nature of technological advancements presents a challenge in keeping up with the evolving skill requirements. Manufacturers need to continuously update their upskilling programs to align with the latest industry trends and technologies. This requires a proactive approach and close collaboration with industry experts and associations.

How our Culture of Upskilling Supports Career Progression

QA specialist Jordan poses near one of our CNC millsAt Hirsh, we are committed to fostering the professional growth and advancement of our employees in the manufacturing industry. Let's delve into the inspiring journey of Jordan's career.

When Jordan joined Hirsh, she had no prior experience in manufacturing. However, through dedication and hard work, she has risen from crest cleaning and manual part inspection to become a valuable member of our QA team. As a Quality Assurance Specialist, Jordan plays a vital role in supporting new part launches, reviewing customer prints, and collaborating with all our teams to identify and solve manufacturing challenges.

Throughout her time at Hirsh, Jordan has acquired a diverse range of skills, including crest cleaning, inspection, machining, metrology, CMM operation, compliance standards, and process improvement.

Going from crest to a QA tech was a huge change because that was going from just visually looking at the parts…to learning how to inspect the parts with critical standards.

-- Jordan Eisel, Quality Assurance Specialist

Maintaining a culture that fosters upskilling across your workforce is no small feat, but it's a worthwhile investment. Providing your team with the tools and resources they need to propel their career development is essential for success at the employee and organization levels.

Ways to Upskill your Manufacturing Workforce infographicA critical resource that supports upskilling efforts is access to subject matter and industry experts who can mentor and train employees is essential for your workforce's growth and development. These mentors not only provide guidance and support but also challenge our employees to explore new ideas and perspectives. By having access to industry experts, our team members can stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices, enabling them to enhance their skills and become valuable assets to our organization.

In addition to mentorship, we also emphasize the importance of cross-training. We encourage our team members to broaden their skill sets by learning new roles and responsibilities within our organization. This not only enhances their versatility but also allows them to gain a deeper understanding of our manufacturing processes and how different departments collaborate. By cross-training, our employees become more adaptable and versatile, making them better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise.

We also provide our team members with the necessary resources and opportunities to support their upskilling and cross-training endeavors. We offer online courses, in-person workshops, learning pathways, and tuition reimbursement benefits that allow our employees to explore a wide range of topics relevant to the manufacturing industry. These resources are designed to be accessible and flexible, allowing our employees to learn at their own pace and according to their individual interests.

Moreover, we emphasize a culture of continuous learning and curiosity within our organization. We actively encourage our team members to ask questions, seek out new knowledge, and share their insights and experiences with others. By fostering a sense of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, we create an environment where learning becomes a natural part of our daily operations.

At Hirsh, we firmly believe that investing in the growth and development of our employees is not only beneficial for them but also for our team as a whole. By providing access to subject matter and industry experts, promoting cross-training, fostering a culture of continuous learning, and investing in best-in-class technology, we empower our employees to reach their full potential and contribute to our organization's success.