Engaging and Educating Young Talent
Have you ever wondered whether we are doing everything in our power to attract the next generation of skilled workers to the manufacturing industry? There is a great German saying: “people with trade have a golden foundation.” Manufacturing is extremely interesting, motivational, challenging and an excellent place to learn and grow. But I have learnt that we, as the manufacturers have to do a better job at marketing this trade. There exist deep rooted, negative perceptions about apprenticeship and careers in the skilled trade, as well as lack of awareness about the opportunities and benefits in a skilled trade. It is our responsibility to go out and initiate collaborations with academia to bring a much-needed transformation to the industry.
How can we get our youth interested?
This can be achieved by:
• Organizing field trips to the manufacturing plants.
• Manufactures visiting schools to give presentations and to answer any questions the students may have.
• Greater promotion of apprenticeship programs.
• Offering internship positions in the manufacturing sector.
Importance of engaging the youth.
There are multiple advantages brought by empowering the youth. To begin with, employers get the opportunity to initiate the process of growing a workforce to suit their needs from the local sources.
• Engaging the youth contributes to a long-term solution to supply and demand of skilled labor.
• By giving the youth work experiences; we are preparing them for the transition to adulthood and a great deal to their personal development.
• They develop an understanding of different occupations that helps them in making informed career choices.
• Young talent comes with fresh ideas. They are flexible and willing to challenge the status-quo and serve as passionate, eager and focused employees. Since they lack experience, they do not perceive similar constraints as their more senior colleagues and often prove that the impossible is quite possible.
• The young generation is quite ambitious, and achievement-oriented; they crave meaningful roles and enter into the industry genuinely wanting to make a difference.
For most youth, landing their first job is a significant milestone to their personal development. They are often eager and want to learn, which can greatly contribute to productivity and quality products. We have to communicate to our kids that manufacturing has a future in this country; it is our responsibility to create and communicate this vision. Let us be more observant on where to find young talent, grow their creative minds and their personal development.