Do-nothing approach not the answer to labor shortage

by Dan Malovany
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Key preliminary findings from a recent survey suggested taking a do-nothing approach will only worsen the skilled labor shortage over the next decade.

 

Key preliminary findings from a recent survey suggested taking a do-nothing approach will only worsen the skilled labor shortage over the next decade.

Commissioned by the American Bakers Association and the American Society of Baking, the survey polled their members who represent 73% of the industry’s total sales. By 2025, 78% of respondents predicted a high or severe shortage of hourly maintenance and engineering personnel. That’s about the same as today’s situation. However, the gap hourly among machine operators is expected to reach 61%, or 21 percentage points over today, while the shortage of unskilled production workers notched 37%, or an increase of 19 points. Moreover, among salaried employees by 2025, 38% foresaw a significant shortage in scientists, R.&D. and product development personnel — a 17% rise — while the dearth of skilled production management reached 32%, or a jump of 10 points from today.

The issue with salaried engineers/maintenance will remain about the same — around 60% of respondents calling it a major issue.

Laurie Graves, director, people systems, The Bama Cos., and chair of A.B.A.’s Human Resources Committee, noted the survey clearly indicates the industry needs a proactive call for action.

“We could change this conversation,” she said. “We can come back and do this survey five years from now, and we can see a much more optimistic outlook because we could all put things in place in our businesses and understand how we actually can all influence how people see our companies, how people see our skill set and how they can build careers.”

Stay tuned as the crucial project progresses. 

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