Over the past couple years a common topic of conversation between manufacturers in Canada and the US has been the shortage of skilled labour.
A report published last year called “The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond” projects that, “Over the next decade, nearly three and a half million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled, and the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.”
The challenge in the Advanced Manufacturing sector is the high demand of skills that manufacturers look for in the labour force. As an example, below are the necessary skills of workers in the Automation Assembly field:
- Large mechanical competency, with knowledge of assembly, drilling, welding, sub-assemblies,
- Knowledge of pneumatics and hydraulics
- Ability to read and understand mechanical and electrical prints
- Ability to use troubleshooting methodologies for all equipment in the plant
- An understanding of all programmable logic controllers, including troubleshooting ladder logic and re-programming
- Ability to rewire machines and understand variable drives, device net, ether net, and control net systems
- Practical use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint to train customers and write reports
So can can we anticipate and plan for this ever increasing skill shortage? We believe that answer lies in education and training.
Specific programs have been created that directly address training requirements for the Advanced Automation fields. Seneca College, with the help of Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology, introduced the Mechatronics program in 2015. Mechatronics is known as the amalgamation of ‘mechanical, electrical and computer technologies.’
Conestoga College has created a Mechanical Technician and General Machinist program which offers scholarships for students to help with tuition costs, and comes with the bonus of an offer of full-time employment upon successful completion.
The Ontario Government has also invested $35M of funding to create a manufacturing consortium with McMaster, Waterloo, and Western universities, focused on developing new technologies, training, advances in the manufacturing sector.
TCA Technologies is also committed to further investing in the training and education of our team of skilled workers. If you are interested in employment or an apprenticeship in Assembly Automation field, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!