Despite high unemployment numbers, our industrial base is dealing with a substantial shortage of skilled technicians. In particular, the skills gap has made it difficult to fill an increasing number of MRO roles, including non-destructive testing.
Many factors are at play, not the least of which is a rolling exodus of well-trained baby boomers heading for retirement. Expect skilled technician shortages in the millions, just in the U.S. Several strategies can address this dilemma.
First: training, training, training. It needs to be a key strategy for companies—one that’s protected and defended, even in adverse times. Training improves productivity, quality and job satisfaction. Continuing education keeps skill levels matched to advancing technology and cuts turnover and downtime. Job training and apprenticeship tax credits for companies offering training will go a long way in sustaining this priority.
Fresh thinking about MRO training will drive real progress on this front. Companies can increase access to training by de-emphasizing four-year degree requirements and increasing the role of tiered training certifications and two-year programs...