Global skills gap leaves 10 million manufacturing jobs unfilled

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The future of global manufacturing is turning into a competition for talent according to a new report, The Future of Manufacturing Opportunities to Drive Economic Growth, released today by the World Economic Forum.

The report, produced in collaboration with Deloitte, estimates that 10 million manufacturing jobs worldwide cannot currently be filled due to a growing skills gap. It claims that the shortage is pervasive despite the high unemployment rate in many developed economies where companies are struggling to fill manufacturing jobs, such as highly trained workers and engineers. At the same time, emerging economies cannot fuel their growth without more workers in the skilled production category. David Raistrick, manufacturing leader for Deloitte UK and Switzerland, said that a new breed of organisations emerging in the UK were fully focused on innovation and spearheading new developments on the global stage. "These organisations require a highly skilled and forward-thinking workforce, which means companies are fighting for the best talent. As such, there exist incredible opportunities for young and skilled people to join a dynamic industry that has a significant impact on the global economy," he went on. John Moavenzadeh at the World Economic Forum said that more innovative grew twice as fast as their non-innovative counterparts. The report also looked at the role energy will play in the future of manufacturing, finding that affordable clean energy strategies and effective energy policies will be a top priority for manufacturers and policymakers. In summary, the report emphasises a recurring theme: Collaboration between governments and private sectors will be critical. With competition increasing for so many resources and capabilities – and with the prosperity of nations hanging in the balance – policymakers would be looking for the right combination of trade, tax, labour, energy, education, science, technology, and industrial policy levers to generate the best possible future for their citizens.