Business and community leaders from across Alabama are traveling in Australia and New Zealand this week, seeking to boost exports and strengthen trade ties in the region.
The 17-member delegation kicked off a series of briefings with U.S. Commercial Service officials in Sydney, as well as appointments with area companies.
Later in the week, the group will travel to Auckland, New Zealand’s primary commercial hub for a similar slate of meetings.
“Alabama has strong, and growing, relationships with both Australia and New Zealand, and we want to build on those bonds,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, who is leading the delegation.
“This trade mission is about helping our state companies find new markets for their goods and services, so they can create jobs and make new investments in their communities back home,” he said.
Alabama exports to Australia reached nearly $298 million in 2016, rising 11.6 percent from the previous year, according to Commerce Department data. Top exports included transportation equipment as well as paper, chemicals, machinery (except electrical), and computer and electrical products.
Motor vehicles were by far the largest export shipped to Australia in the transportation equipment category.
Meanwhile, state exports to New Zealand last year totaled $68.7 million, jumping 63.6 percent from 2015. Transportation equipment also led the way here, but in a change from previous years, aerospace products and parts, instead of motor vehicles, constituted the largest transportation equipment category.
Other top Alabama exports to New Zealand included chemicals, paper, plastics and rubber parts; and machinery (except electrical).
Hilda Lockhart, director of the Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade, said Australia and Alabama have a strong relationship in both trade and investment. The free trade agreement with Australia allows Alabama companies to be competitive in this far-reaching market, she said.Members of a trade delegation visit Sydney, Australia, in search of more business for Alabama companies. (Made in Alabama)
In addition, New Zealand is a natural fit for Alabama exporters as some distributors cover both countries.
“As our companies say, it only takes one strong partner to do business here,” Lockhart said.
Alabama companies represented in the delegation include Atlas RFID Solutions, Warren Manufacturing and Regions Bank, all of Birmingham; Irrigation Components of Daphne; PowerSouth Energy Cooperative of Andalusia; MechOptix of Madison; Pinnacle Solutions Inc. of Huntsville; and Quality Valve Inc. of Mobile.
Also part of the group are representatives from the University of Alabama, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.
“This trade mission is comprised of multi-industry companies ranging from automotive, aerospace and high-tech equipment, which are among some of the best industry sectors for both Australia and New Zealand,” Lockhart said. “Both countries are very receptive to U.S.-made products because of quality and service.”
As on all trade missions, the Commerce Department has partnered with the U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Commercial Service to set up prequalified appointments to identify potential buyers and distributors.
“The companies with us are working to grow their international footprint in new markets, and we feel very positive that they will be successful on this trip in doing so,” Lockhart said.
Irrigation Components is changing its distribution model and looking for new distributors after many years of operating in Australia and New Zealand, said Ramsay Geha, vice president of international sales and a member of the trade mission delegation.
The company provides irrigation parts for gear boxes, center drives, sprinkler packages and alignment controls, and it is the world’s leader in center pivot spare parts sales. Irrigation Components operates in more than 40 countries, all major agricultural areas.
“Export sales are about 40 percent of our business,” Geha said. “Export was what established our company, and we are seeking to revitalize and strengthen this portion of our business.”
Atlas RFID Solutions sees tremendous opportunity for its business in Australia and New Zealand.
“Despite having worked on very large industrial construction projects in Australia, we have done so on behalf of U.S.-based contractors and have never worked directly with any Australian or New Zealand-based companies,” said Robert Fuqua, the company’s president and CEO. “We believe that having a more established presence in the region will open doors for more opportunities to provide value to local construction contractors.”
Kevin Bube, vice president of client operations, and Ben Whipple, program manager, are representing the company in the trade mission delegation.
“We are always looking for innovative industrial construction companies to whom we can deliver value through our proprietary materials readiness solution, Jovix,” Fuqua continued. “Companies who are prone to technology adoption are prime for our solution, which focuses on increasing craft productivity and schedule adherence through material readiness.”
Presently, Jovix is deployed in four countries, and exports account for more than 65 percent of Atlas RFID’s annual revenue.
“We have previously participated in trade missions to China, Hong Kong, Norway and Sweden. These trips have provided great value by aiding us in learning about the local business ecosystems and allowing us to create lasting relationships within those markets,” Fuqua said.Austal USA launches the future USS Omaha from its shipbuilding facility in Mobile. The Australia-based company is one of south Alabama’s largest employers. (Austal USA)
In addition to business meetings, delegation members also will attend networking receptions hosted by Consul General Valerie Crites Fowler of the U.S. Consulate General in Sydney and Acting Consul General Craig Halbmaier of the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland.
Among the 50 states last year, Alabama was Australia’s No. 2 trading partner in exports of pulp, paper and paperboard mill products and its No. 4 trading partner in motor vehicle exports.
Meanwhile, the state imported $106.5 million of goods from Australia in 2016.
Other key ties between the state and the country include Australian shipbuilder Austal USA, which has a major manufacturing operation in Mobile.
For New Zealand, Alabama ranked as the No. 1 trading partner in exports of pulp, paper and paperboard mill products, and the state was No. 2 for exports of resin, synthetic rubber, artificial and synthetic fibers, and filament.
Alabama’s 2016 imports from New Zealand totaled $10.1 million.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.
Any vendor looking to poach the clients of a competitor is wasting its time, writes Martin Olsen for iStart …
The mid-market ERP space is fascinating right now. Oracle (an enterprise player) just bought NetSuite for $9.3 billion. Sage (which likes to buy and rename software) just purchased Intacct for $850 million. Microsoft (dominates mid-market ERP on-premise software) spent hundreds of millions building Dynamics 365 Financials.
Mid-market companies are often defined as companies that have between 50 and 1000 employees, or sometimes as those with revenues between US$100 million and $3 billion. This is a very large market segment with well over 200,000 USA-based businesses in that category alone. If you add in the top-end of the small market down to companies turning over $50 million, the market gets wildly larger.
This context is necessary to appreciate the size of the mid-market that ERP vendors are addressing. These companies have complex business processes and compliance requirements requiring the purchase of software solutions to manage and keep control of the business.
Aluminium from end-of-life cars to be recycled into new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles£2 million project cuts waste and helps reduce carbon emissionsExtends existing scheme to recycle scrap aluminium from manufacturing processRecycling uses up to 95 per cent less energy than primary aluminium production
Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest vehicle manufacturer, is expanding the use of recycled aluminium in its car bodies to cut waste and reduce carbon emissions.
The £2 million project, called REALITY, has found a way to enable the closed-loop recycling of aluminium from end-of-life vehicles back into high-performance product forms for new vehicle body manufacture in the UK by Jaguar Land Rover.
REALITY builds on the REALCAR project allowing tens of thousands of tonnes of aluminium generated in the manufacturing process to be recycled and reused as a closed-loop. Aluminium from other sources, including end-of-life vehicles, can now be graded and ‘born again’ in the manufacture of new cars.
This unique ‘closed-loop’ automotive recycling system helps to further develop the circular economy model to deliver both financial and environmental benefits.
REALCAR began as a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover, Innovate UK, Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Stadco, Brunel University London, Zyomax and Innoval Technology. The original project and subsequent work with suppliers enabled Jaguar Land Rover to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap and re-use it in the aluminium production process in 2016/17.
Implementing closed-loop aluminium recycling has involved cutting-edge chemistry, new infrastructure and investment of more than £13 million. It is driving a new culture that treats waste material as a high-value commodity. Quality will remain paramount, and the project has evaluated aluminium grades at chemistry and microstructure level to increase tolerance to recycling.
The project, part-funded by Innovate UK, has involved more than 10 press shops (Jaguar Land Rover and external suppliers) with aluminium being remelted by Novelis.
Simon Edmonds, Director of Manufacturing and Materials at Innovate UK, said: “Innovate UK is proud of our support for the REALCAR programme, and this exciting latest stage of the project, REALITY, is another excellent example of collaboration between large and small businesses in the supply chain, supporting them to scale up and become more productive. These projects have been a model in terms of professional delivery of complex research and development.”
Work continues to will refine the process of turning aluminium from ‘end-of-life’ cars into new vehicles. The REALITY project will continue to deliver significant sustainability benefits, with aluminium recycling requiring up to 95 per cent less energy than primary aluminium production. Innovate UK awarded a grant of £1.3 million to the project in 2016 as part of its Manufacturing and Materials Round One funding competition.
The new project will consider advanced sorting technologies and evaluate the next generation aluminium alloys for greater recyclability. Innovations in the sorting and separating technologies applied to automotive end-of-life waste streams will also help other sectors, including packaging and construction. Resource recovery specialist Axion has joined the project to develop the sorting technologies for recovery of a high grade recycled aluminium. The project partners are Jaguar Land Rover, Axion Recycling, Innovate UK, Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Brunel University London, WMG University of Warwick and Innoval Technology.
REALITY supports material stewardship as part of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) Performance Standard, to actively encourage the most effective recycling approaches for aluminium. Jaguar Land Rover is an ASI member (https://aluminium-stewardship.org/).
For more information on how the REALITY project is an evolution from the REALCAR project, visit: https://youtu.be/2493lsmnCHM
Jaguar Land Rover will invest £4 billion annually to extend its model range and manufacturing footprintThe World Car of The Year, the Jaguar F-Pace, contributed to the resurgence of the Jaguar brand which saw an 83% increase in sales year on yearOver the past six years, Jaguar Land Rover has doubled sales and employment, more than tripled turnover, and invested more than £15 billion in new product creation and capital expenditureJaguar Land Rover is one of the UK’s largest exporters and generates around 80% of its revenue from exports
Have you ever had a great idea and wished you could figure out how to get it to market, but you weren’t really willing to “bet the farm” on it? As someone who has been in that position on several occasions, I can share a few insights.
First, I’ve never been tempted to contact one of those firms that markets heavily about how they help novice inventors develop ideas and provide lots of support at every step of the way. I’ve generally assumed, perhaps unfairly, that they’re much more interested in the fees they’ll collect than in really helping me succeed. This article was written by Douglas Hoon back in March 2016 for Machine Design
Second, I’ve never sought out angel investors or venture capitalists as a way to fund the process. They provide much more mainstream approaches, but such investors will rightly expect that you will be totally focused on achieving certain agreed-upon milestones on schedule. And they will be quick to walk away if they see the opportunity fading. It’s a high-risk, high-reward, time-critical approach that makes sense if you’re already financially independent or young enough and without major family obligations that you can weather a spectacular failure and move on with your life. Or you really like to gamble.
My approach has always been to do my inventing “nights and weekends” as a complement to a regular job that pays the bills, investing my own funds on a schedule I can afford and putting in a few hours a week slowly pushing the idea. Not every idea is a success, but with this strategy it’s possible to eventually succeed financially if only one in 10 ideas sees some level of commercial success.
Like many in the Machine Design audience, I have a small basement shop and some design tools that let me tinker and pursue ideas while avoiding the expense of real-estate rental, hiring employees, and bank loans or other debt. Thus, when some of my efforts proved to be “ahead of their time,” I’ve been able to weather the long haul until the market catches up. During that time, I am able to keep the idea alive while maintaining full ownership of the IP, persisting in overcoming the obstacles that will intrude, learning more about the markets involved, and laying a solid foundation for success. That old adage that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration is true, and you need to give yourself the opportunity to actually invest that 99% without worrying about investor demands or running out of money.
In the process of acquiring 10 patents and writing over a dozen additional provisional and non-provisional patents, I’ve gained a lot of insights that you may find useful.
• If you work for a company, especially one involved in design, manufacturing, or consulting, there is a strong possibility you were required to sign an agreement that assigns the rights to any invention you conceive to your employer. Sometimes this provision extends for patent filings that occur 90 days or more from the date you leave the company. So before you do anything, talk to your boss or someone in your HR department to find out if you can carve out some type of exception to that policy. Companies are often willing to let you individually patent ideas that lie outside their competitive area of interest. If you can’t do that, and you’re unwilling to launch your own business, there is little reason to pursue this strategy.
• Your only protection as the inventor of a product is a patent. And the only circumstance under which most potential customers/acquirers/licensees of your idea will even talk to you is if you have at least applied for a patent. They don’t want to be embroiled in any charges that they’ve stolen your idea. A patent application, with its definitive time stamp, sets clear boundaries on who owns what.
• Patent lawyers are really expensive. Until you’re sure you have something likely to provide a return on what could be a substantial investment, figure out how to use the many tools available on U.S. Patent Office’s website www.USPTO.gov. It’s especially important that you learn how to use their advanced search tools for patents and published applications.
• Our patent system is based on the “first to file” principle. Fortunately, you can file a provisional patent application on your own, without help other than reading the guidelines on the USPTO website, as soon as the idea crystalizes in your mind. The cost for a first-time inventor filing under “micro entity” status is only $65. If you don’t qualify for that rate, the fee for a “small entity” is $130.
Provisional patent applications are good for one year. That time window lets you explore an idea more fully with reduced risk that it will be stolen. This exploration should include your own efforts to determine whether the idea is truly novel or so close to someone else’s patent that it is not worth pursuing. It should also include reaching out to potential customers/acquirers to determine whether there is any significant level of interest, i.e., do you have a product idea people will actually pay for? And finally, this one-year window gives you an opportunity to create a prototype, even a crude representation, to determine whether the idea will actually work. For this latter goal, I’ve found the 3D printer on my home desktop to be priceless.
• Submitting a provisional patent requires that you be able to adequately document/describe your idea in both words and figures. If you’re not a good writer, get help from friends or family. And think carefully about all the different ways your idea’s general functional characteristics might be realized. Your provisional patent not only registers the priority date for your idea claims, it also limits what you can later claim (without losing your priority date) in a subsequent non-provisional patent application.
The drawing portion of the application can be made much easier if you can create a range of drawing views from one of the available drawing software packages–preferably a solids modeling program. If you know how to use one of these programs, great. And if your employer will let you use company software for a personal project like this, it can be a big cost saver. However, should you need to acquire your own design software, there are several alternatives worth looking at. SolidWorks is a superb choice for small inventors, but it costs about $5,000 for the initial license and has substantial annual subscription fees. Other, more recent 3D solids programs, are less expensive. AutoDesk’s Fusion 360 and OnShape are two that come to mind. There is actually a version of OnShape you can get for free with the only limitation that your cloud-based file storage cannot exceed 5 GB. Patent drawings at the provisional level don’t necessarily need to conform to any particular format, but the USPTO publishes a definitive drawing format guide you should get in the habit of using.
• After you decide your idea is worth pursuing beyond the provisional patent level, legal protection starts to become more expensive. If there is a chance your idea will have broad appeal, especially on an international level, the investment in a patent attorney is certainly warranted. If, however, you determine there is a small market, but one worth pursuing for a small business, maybe something you could do almost at a hobby level for the enjoyment and small additional income it could afford, then you might think about prosecuting the non-provisional patent yourself. The USPTO lets individual inventors file pro se. I’ve done it once under just this set of financial considerations. The process is still underway, so I have limited experience to describe the plusses and minuses.
• One strategy I’ve used on several occasions is to solicit help in the patenting process from a larger firm interested in licensing the rights to the invention. Under these terms, they typically fund the out-of-pocket expenses for all legal fees. Inventors are generally expected to contribute their time to support development of the required patent specification and drawings with no compensation other than for direct expenses.
A natural extension of this strategy is to also solicit help from the licensing firm to defend the patent once it issues. This is potentially a huge factor in your overall business strategy because the value of a patent is only as good as your ability to defend it against potential infringers. As an individual pitted against a multinational corporation, you would have almost no chance of enforcing your rights. With the help of a larger firm, the odds go up substantially. Most agreement language around this type of provision will give the licensing firm “the right, but not the obligation” to defend the idea. Typically any damages won in a patent trial go to whoever funded the suit, and in the case it would be the licensing firm and not to you. That’s okay because your interest is in protecting the royalty stream from the license and if that continues, you win too.
I find the whole process of invention, design, and marketing of ideas to be fun and a great sideline to my normal work life. As hobbies go, it’s one of the few with the potential to actually supplement your income rather than be a steady economic drain. Like every hobby, it gets easier as you develop skills and more experience. It’s also a great way to keep my mind active and something I hope to do well into what would otherwise be a quiet retirement.
Rangiora-based Vaico is the latest Canterbury firm to come up with new seismic technology.
Co-director Ashton How and his brothers set up the business 10 years ago dealing in above-ceiling installations.
After the earthquakes they turned their full focus to seismic bracing of storage racks holding pallets of goods.
Ashton How, of Rangiora-based Vaico, which makes bracing systems for racking systems in warehouses.
Safety in distribution warehouses and supermarkets become a major issue in 2011 when Canterbury experienced 14,000 earthquakes, approximately.
Like many of the best inventions, the solutions appeared self evident in hindsight - a bar that falls down when shaking starts to prevent pallets moving.
When shaking starts, the Vaico seismic restraint bar falls down to stop pallets in the rack from moving.
"We had many rejected prototypes but we got there in the end. The big thing was to make a device that didn't interfere with normal work and the ability to access goods."
The patented restraint device can be retrofitted on any existing facility without changing the racking configuration.
How said insurers were keen on the restraining systems which could potentially save money as well as improving safety for warehouse workers and forklift drivers - a typical pellet could weigh between 800 kilograms and 1 tonne.
A pellet could contain hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of liquor.
And the safety issue was more imperative in the case of storing pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, How said.
Challenges along the way included finding the right type of steel, which Vaico gets tested by a Christchurch engineer.
"We could licence the manufacturing out but we have to be able to guarantee the quality of the steel and that becomes difficult when you involve third parties.
"We use New Zealand manufactured steel which probably costs almost twice as much as steel imported from China.
"But when we looked at some from China the strengths were laughable and you wonder why they would even make it."
The company, which employs 30 people, has geared up to cater for the lift in business by commissioning a second factory at Rangiora, and setting up an office in Auckland.
Vaico has a distribution and installation agreement with a company called Dexion which has examples of the racking system on its web site.
The company also has a partnership with US market leader International Seismic Application Technologies.
"They are very interested in it and we'll use that relationship to take it to the North American market," How said.
Three and half years ago, Roman and Andrea Jewell, who was expecting the couples first child at the time, started Fix & Fogg. Previously both lawyers, they made the choice to leave behind the corporate life and dedicate their time and energy to creating something meaningful, sustainable, and delicious.
They decided to make the world’s best peanut butter.
They love that they make every jar of Fix & Fogg peanut butter from start to finish in their factory in Wellington. From designing labels to carefully blended peanut butter, they are completely hands-on throughout the entire process.
They think the award-winning peanut butters are so popular because people can taste the difference in a product that’s handmade by humans who care about quality.
Sistema CEO and Customs .jpgCustoms and Sistema Plastics have signed a partnership under the NZ Customs Secure Export Scheme (SES), endorsing the exporter’s supply chain security standards.
Customs and Sistema executives met at the Sistema head office in Auckland to seal the deal with an official Certificate of Partnership.
Customs Acting Comptroller Christine Stevenson says New Zealand’s SES gives members greater certainty at international borders and ensures minimal delay.
“We recognise the importance of supporting international trade. Sistema is one of the country’s most successful manufacturing businesses, and now exports to more than 80 countries around the world. The Sistema range is well known internationally and it is very pleasing to welcome them on board with this partnership,” says Ms Stevenson.
Sistema Plastics CEO Drew Muirhead says “Joining the partnership will bring great efficiencies and allow us to continue streamlining our supply to our customers globally. We are delighted to be part of SES and thrilled to be working alongside Customs and the other great New Zealand companies which are also part of it.”
Exporters that are approved for the SES provide Customs with risk management plans that assure their goods are packed and transported securely to the place of shipment without interference.
Customs currently has agreements with the United States, China, Australia, Japan and Korea and SES is recognised by those countries. It means exports by local SES members benefit from the knowledge their products will be considered secure at those borders.
The SES is voluntary and open to exporters wish to apply. For more information, see Secure Export Scheme.
Auckland, New Zealand – FUSION, the worldwide leader in marine audio engineering, announced today its partnership with Sea Pro Boats to offer their industry-leading purpose built marine entertainment systems, Signature Series Speakers and Amplifiers and True-Marine Speakers on all 2018 Bay Series and Center Console Deep V Series boats.
“Sea Pro has been making serious waves with its The Next Wave-branded boats,” said Chris Baird, managing director, FUSION Entertainment. “At Fusion, it’s the next sound wave that we take seriously, and that’s why we are so excited to be able to offer Sea Pro customers our latest and greatest, state-of-the-art stereos and speakers.”
Originally founded in 1987, Sea Pro Boats was purchased by Brunswick Corp. in 2005. In 2015, Jimmy Hancock, one of the original owners of Sea Pro, along with Tidewater Boats’ founder Preston Wrenn, re-launched the company with an all-new incarnation of the Sea Pro brand – ‘The Next Wave.’ The line currently features six models with two new models expected in late 2017/early 2018. Sea Pro Boats are made in America in the company’s 200,000-square-foot Whitmire, S.C., facility.
“We’re pleased to offer our customers FUSION signature sound for our 2018 model year,” said Hancock. “FUSION stereos and speakers are renowned for their exceptional audio quality and True-Marine design, and we’re confident our customers will get maximum enjoyment from them on the water.”
Designed for the marine environment by some of the finest engineering minds in the industry, Fusion systems are built from the ground up with world-class industrial design, high-quality componentry, intelligent and intuitive functionality, and with an unwavering vision of producing exceptional audio systems for those seeking a superior listening experience. With an elegant finish, FUSION systems perfectly blend with the decor of any vessel, are discreet yet refined and suitable for both internal and external installations.
For more information on FUSION or its entire line of marine audio products, visit fusionentertainment.com. To learn more about Sea Pro Boats, visit seapromfg.com.
Yesterday’s release of Treasury’s Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) provides a fairly sobering forecast of our ability to grow wealth in and for New Zealand, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
NZMEA Chief Executive, Dieter Adam says, “We have to face the reality of our lack of economic development in New Zealand. And now is the right time to challenge New Zealand’s leading parties to tell us what they are going to do to push our economy towards a more prosperous future for everyone.”
“For the next four years (2018 to 2021) Treasury forecasts a decline in the rate of absolute GDP growth in 2020 and 2021, with a similar decline in the export growth rate, down to just over 2% in 2020 and 2021. By then we’ll be four years away from the current Government’s goal of growing the share of exports to GDP to 40%, and further away from reaching that goal than ever.
“These observations sit alongside our own, and Statistics New Zealand’s data on exports of elaborately transformed goods, which have been in decline for the past 18 months or so.
“Treasury’s forecasts for the increase in GDP, as modest as they may be, are still based largely on a growth of labour inputs due to immigration for 2018. After that, miraculously, labour productivity will take over as the main driver of GDP growth. When it comes to explaining what this expectation is based on, given that for the last three years, for example, we saw virtually no productivity growth in our economy, the report remains silent, but states that “productivity growth may be slower than assumed if labour inputs grow more strongly than expected” - meaning if the forecast drop in immigration numbers doesn’t eventuate.
“So, what have we actually got here? An economy projected to grow at modest rates overall, especially in the second half of the outlook period (2020 to 2021), and growth rates for Real GDP per capita, the real measure of wealth creation, of 1.2% and 1.0% in the same period. And all of that based on a miraculous increase in labour productivity from around zero currently to between 1.5% and 1.8% from 2019 onwards.
“We suggest it is time we have a serious debate on how we can sustainably improve our ability to grow wealth in this country. Growing wealth, so we have more money to pay for a better health system, better education, and other public services. You can’t do that if most of the growth in your economy comes from immigration, or when many people’s perception of increased wealth comes from rising asset prices fuelled by ever-increasing private debt.
“Growth in wealth comes from growing the output per hour worked – and that, as the late Sir Paul Callaghan kept reminding us, will only happen if we achieve growth in those sectors of our economy that produce and export high-value products and services. Our manufacturers, together with other sectors of our productive economy, stand ready to contribute. It’s about time the major political parties did their bit by making this a key focus of their efforts” says Dieter.
Smart factories are a key aspect of the fourth industrial revolution, but a factory can’t evolve into a smart factory unless its workers evolve, too.
The skills gap has a lot of manufacturers wondering about what the future holds. Should employers offer more pay to entice existing talent? How can we encourage students to pursue STEM and skilled education?
As if finding skilled workers wasn’t hard enough, the industry is changing so fast that many careers end up being moving targets. Companies can’t implement cutting-edge digital solutions if their workforce doesn’t have the skills to use that new tech effectively.
Perhaps the solution to the skills gap isn’t in filling old jobs, but creating new roles that maximize the effectiveness of digital technologies
According to a recent report by research institute UI Labs in collaboration with HR consultancy ManpowerGroup, that’s exactly what needs to happen.
“By mapping the digital roles and skills of the future, our research will help companies and schools upskill today’s manufacturing workforce for the connected, smart machine and augmented-technology jobs of an increasingly digital enterprise,” said ManpowerGroup CEO Jonathan Prising. “This will help bridge the skills gap and highlights the advanced and attractive jobs emerging on the forefront of the manufacturing sector.”