Manufacturing today is more complex than it ever has been and every time there is a workplace fatality or serious injury, the complexity level for conducting manufacturing business increases.
In comparison to manufacturers 30 years ago, employer investment costs back then for training their workforce was virtually none existent. Companies today are sinking huge amounts of money into their workforce because they are obligated to have a competent trained staff.
Back in the day, an entry level manufacturing candidate could be successful with basically no education because employer expectations were nowhere close to what they are now. Back then; if you were on time, worked hard, and could learn as you go, you were likely to enjoy a long term career with one employer.
Employer’s expectations are much greater today and for good reason. They need their employees to continually learn and upgrade their skillset due to ever changing legislation in a multitude of activities surrounding how safe work must be conducted.
As well, you may have noticed how popular Lean Manufacturing or Continuous Improvement initiatives have become in today’s manufacturing world. This has raised the essential skills bar to a new high level because process improvement concepts often involve delegation of responsibilities and authority down to the shop floor. In some cases, employers are asking for some post-secondary education for entry level positions.
Employers are now committed to finding the best possible candidates for the job requirements. An entry level position in any manufacturing industry has a set standard of essential skills which is imperative to ensure a new employee will succeed. Employers are investing a lot time and money into employee training and are very cautious to take a risk on someone who may struggle to comprehend basic math equations, reading a S.O.P., or writing legible documents. To be a successful applicant for a labouring type position, one must also be able to communicate effectively and fit into the team dynamic.