This is part 2 of a blog based on the material that will be presented at the SAP for Utilities conference on September 14, 2015. Previously we discussed the “Good”; this blog will discuss the “Bad”.
While the “Good” was more technology based, the “Bad” is more focused on people. These are the people that we either have currently employed or those that will need to be replacements for those employees that are retiring in the near future. The “Bad” is in the following three areas:
- An aging workforce
- The lack of technical/ trade apprenticeships
- A compromised educational system
When considering the aging workforce, most people focus on the loss of the pure talent that will occur when the “Baby-Boomers” retire. However, an even more important fact is that there is a shortage of replacement workers in the next generation. In other words, the demographics show that there will not be sufficient “Gen X” workers to replace the number of “Baby-Boomers” leaving the workforce.
Compounding that “Bad” fact, is the additional impact in the skilled trades area due to the lack of technical/ trade apprenticeships that are currently not available. Since shop class has been eliminated from most high school curriculum, the high school students are left with little choice except to go to college to avoid “Fast Food” employment. While some vocational schools and community colleges will partially fill the need, the demographics again show that this will fall far short of the number of entry level skill trades personnel that are going to be required.
One final component to the “Bad” is the fact that world-wide, there exists a failure on the part of educational systems to produce a quality product (qualified students). Statistics show that only 1/3rd of US high schools students can actually read at a 12th grade reading level when they graduate from high school. Additionally, the average reading level in the average US manufacturing plant is only 8th grade, with levels as low a 3rd grade actually reported. 50% of manufacturers found their current workforce had serious reading, writing, and math skill problems. A manufacturer found that only 1 out of 4 job applicants could pass a test requiring 10th grade skill. (Statistics derived from “The 2010 Meltdown” – Gordon)
So the “Bad” is, we don’t have enough people, we don’t have enough skilled people, and we don’t have enough qualified entry level people.
Can the technology we discussed in part one of this blog and ISO 55000 impact the “Bad” we see on the near term horizon? We will discuss this topic in the next blog.