Automation & IT / Control Systems

Rockwell Automation Tackles Global Workforce Availability

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jun 16, 2016

To address a growing skills shortage, Rockwell Automation outlines a five-step approach to help organizations better prepare their operations and empower their workers. The company’s five steps for addressing workforce availability, outlined in a white paper available on the company’s site, include:

  • Improving machinery design to address ergonomics and safety risks for a more diverse workforce, including older and younger workers.
  • Building a Connected Enterprise to improve productivity and efficiency through information-enabled operations.
  • Training workers to preserve and pass on the knowledge of experienced workers, and to equip workers with the skills needed to take advantage of new technologies.
  • Leveraging vendors and suppliers to augment core competencies when specialized skills are only occasionally required or when local talent is not available.
  • Engaging the community to improve the skills and availability of young workers.

“Aging workers with deep process understanding are leaving the workforce and being replaced by a new generation of workers,” says Blake Moret, senior vice president, Control Products and Solutions, Rockwell Automation. “At the same time, new technology is enabling industry to equip their existing workforce with new skills, as facilities and plants become more connected. Manufacturers should look at their workforce development needs as an opportunity to differentiate, not as a cost to be avoided.”

In the U.S. alone, 78% of manufacturing executives surveyed believe the skills gap will impact their ability to implement new technologies and increase productivity, according to the company, citing a report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute. Because the availability of skilled workers is shrinking globally, methods such as offshoring and workforce relocation become less effective, according to Rockwell, and the problem must be dealt with by taking a holistic approach to machinery and facility design, training, technology and safety.

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