As the landscape of the manufacturing industry has been affected by various factors from the pandemic to the ever-increasing skills gap, it must be considered what manufacturing jobs will look like moving into 2022 and beyond.
The development of automation has also seen certain parts of the manufacturing process being taken over by machinery. Humans are slowly being relieved of some repetitive, manual work that computers and robots can easily perform.
A May 2021 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute indicated that, by 2030, there would be over 2.1 million unfilled jobs in the manufacturing industry.
This staggering number is down to many potential reasons, but a continuing trend of unfulfilled jobs has been noted since at least 2018. The fact is that over 578,000 manufacturing jobs were lost during a pandemic-affected 2020, but almost 500,000 jobs in manufacturing remain open at any time.
With over 2.7 million industrial robots in use worldwide, there is something to be said for the effect of robots and automation on the mentality of potential manufacturing workers.
Although there is still a clear need for humans to work alongside robots, many people feel that getting into manufacturing might be a short-lived career path. That could partially explain some of the unfulfilled manufacturing jobs.
So, what can we expect from the manufacturing industry into 2022 and beyond?
Why might the manufacturing industry be able to attract more workers in 2022?
Aside from the current struggle to fulfil manufacturing jobs, there is hope for growth in 2022. Deloitte reported signs of recovery in 2021 thanks to a vaccine rollout and more stability following the pandemic.
Here are some ways the manufacturing industry could create more demand for jobs in 2022:
- Making manufacturing jobs more modern and desirable. With office-based roles becoming more flexible since the pandemic hit, manufacturing companies would do well to introduce a similar level of locational and temporal flexibility in their jobs. There could also be more focus on providing a positive, happy work environment instead of simply issuing pay rises and promotions.
- Increasingly-visible ESG factors. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors describe an organization’s attempts to become more environmentally and socially responsible. As there is increasing focus on tackling climate change and other issues, manufacturers will make their efforts more noticeable to potential employees.
- Promotion of manufacturing as a career path. According to Sage in the UK, there is a stigma attached to working in manufacturing. Less than 20% of parents would encourage their children to go into the industry. Therefore, the manufacturing industry has a job to do in terms of painting its jobs in a more positive light.
Jack Vale is a writer from Happy Writers, Co. in partnership with personal and business checks manufacturer, Checkworks.