Training millennials for the manufacturing workforce

According to a report published by the Manufacturing Institute in partnership with Deloitte, in the next decade, close to 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will be open and the skills gap will result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled. This widening of the skills gap could compromise manufacturers’ ability to stay competitive in the global market. In order to address this issue, skilled labor will need to be created. Manufacturing companies have started focusing on attracting and training these young workers known as the Millennials.


Millennials represent a generation of people who enjoy their freedom, are actively connected on the digital space, and are often tech savvy. They view learning as a part of growth and are inclined towards training on the go.

Here are a few tips for training Millennials for manufacturing industry jobs:

  • Mentoring programs that connect new hires with the right managers and in-person training can be a great way to bring them up to speed quickly with hard-to-find skills. Such programs can be very effective in a workplace where senior employees outnumber new employees. Being trained by a person they can respect and trust is important to Millennials. Mentors can help them integrate into the company’s work culture at a faster pace.
  • Innovative training methods like online eLearning courses and lots of hands-on work where students learn practical applications of theory could lead to a more efficient and skilled manufacturing workforce.
  • Apprentice programs in which employees earn while they are still in training, and get a full-time job upon completion of the training, can be attractive incentives for Millennials.
  • Integrating digital solutions like responsive technology and gamification techniques in training and eLearning programs can significantly improve engagement of Millennials.
  • Visual simplicity is another way instructors can promote creative enhancements to reach out to new hires. Videos are a great way to present a string of procedures in a comprehensive way, demonstrate case studies, and reinforce information explained in text. Images can be used to deliver all of the textual information in presentations for knowledge retention. Since Millennials tend to respond positively to video and images, it’s a good idea to incorporate them in the learning material.
  • Enable both classroom-based and self-paced training programs with easily accessible learning material online or through mobile apps. This will allow Millennials to learn at their own pace.

The manufacturing companies that will grow in the future are the ones that will adapt to the technological shifts and will help their employees develop the skills necessary to stay competitive in the future. To help foster a stimulating work environment, creating an engaging and innovative employee learning and development program is step one.

In your organisation, how are you preparing millennials for manufacturing jobs? Let us know.


The Skills Gap in US Manufacturing

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