6 months ago - Mohammad-Ali Kashif Al-Ghataa

The Future of Workforce In Your Factory [Mapping Skills That Will Power Manufacturing]

Blog Post Manufacturing

​The Future of Workforce In Your Factory [Mapping Skills That Will Power Manufacturing]

One of the challenges that The National Policy on Industry 4.0 in Malaysia mentions is the limited understanding of manufacturing firms of required future skills and expertise. To find practical solutions to this question and address acute talent shortages, ManpowerGroup and MxD convened more than 30 academic, government and industry partners to create an industry-recognized taxonomy that defines digital manufacturing roles of the future.

National Policy on Industry 4.0

As you probably have heard, In Malaysia, the government unveiled a plan in October 2018 to boost its manufacturing sector through technology, hoping to attract investment in high-tech industries to counter slowing economic growth.

The National Policy on Industry 4.0, named Industry4WRD, will support industry's efforts to rely more on technology and less on capital and labor, to increase productivity.

The policy envisions Malaysia as a strategic partner for smart manufacturing, primary destination for high-tech industries and total solution provider for the manufacturing sector and services in the region.

Among the key objectives of the plan is the increase of of the manufacturing sector contribution to the economy from RM254 billion, which is around 22% of GDP, to RM392 billion in 2025. It also aims at increasing the number of high-skilled workers in the manufacturing sector from 18% to 35% in the same time frame.

Yet, one of the challenges that the paper mentions is the limited understanding of manufacturing firms of required future skills and expertise.

The Future of Manufacturing Skills

Our collaboration with MxD found that almost half of all roles in manufacturing (49 percent) will need to change within the next three to five years as the industry transitions to become fully digital.

More than a quarter of roles of the factory floor will disappear. At the same time, we identified 165 new roles. Most of the new functions, such as a ‘collaborative robot specialist’, couldn’t have been imagined a decade ago.

We created a taxonomy of a future manufacturing enterprise, mapping out the seven key areas of a typical organization - we called them domains - and forecast the future functional needs of each.

While the domains apply to the impact on an organization, workers themselves will be impacted differently by the manufacturing shift.

Within the seven domains, specific roles can be mapped by the impact they make on the organization and the way they connect to each other.

Digital Leaders in The Manufacturing Sector

Our study also found that technology alone won’t be enough to deliver corporate resilience.

Organizations will also need to develop a ‘D-Suite’ – a community of digital-ready analytically minded and connected leaders dedicated to creating the necessary culture and capability within the organization to unlock opportunities and drive successful digital transformation.

We identified that D-suite leadership is enabled by three new capabilities:

  • Building a company culture that encourages ongoing career development

  • Championing cross-cultural collaboration to accelerate performance against near term strategies

  • Fostering innovation by taking risks and managing courageous decisions

The good news is leading through digital transformation in all industries, including manufacturing, does not mean a complete replacement of the makeup of strong leadership. Instead, the 80/20 rule applies.

Foundational leadership skills like endurance and adaptability continue to be critical. Yet in the digital age, effective leaders must also nurture the additional 20 percent — unleashing talent, daring to lead, and at times failing, fast — all to accelerate performance.

Removing The Guesswork from Our Employment Futures

All of these skills are coachable for people with the right mindset, which involves being open to learning and prepared to change course quickly to optimize opportunities.

Granted, this is not an exact science. But going through an exercise of this kind demonstrates that we know a lot more about the shape of our future workforce than we might have realized.

Companies are already drafting sophisticated three to five-year financial plans, each of which is built upon complex operational assumptions.

It’s natural to fear the unknown. By dissecting an industry and developing a future playbook for each of the functions which that industry needs to perform, we are removing the guesswork from our employment futures.

To get access to our Future of Factory Report, fill in the form below:

To know more about the developments in the manufacturing industry visit: https://workforce-resources.manpowergroup.com/home/the-future-factory