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FUTURE OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY Why Gen Z is an asset to the manufacturing industry

Dec 8, 2021

Gen Z is a class of its own. And the manufacturing industry is in a challenging time, where manufacturers must create a work environment which attracts and retains the future workforce. The opinion editorial talks about why the manufacturing industry needs Gen Z in order for it to flourish and what it brings to the table for the industry.

The manufacturing industry is in a challenging phase and manufacturers must produce a work atmosphere which appeals to, involves and preserves the future workforce. Generation Z, which includes people born after 1996, is set to make up the majority of the workforce for the next 30 years. According to a recent survey by Parsable, Gen Z’s view of the manufacturing industry has become more optimistic because of COVID-19.

As we all must know, ‘The Great Resignation’ is happening for real, and is having long-term effects on organisations far and wide. Where Gen Z is at a point of stepping into the workforce in multitudes, manufacturers cannot afford to miss the chance to draw this high-demand talent. What’s more, Gen Z will be the least affected by the skills gap; in fact, it will play a principal part in closing the gap. It has also been shown that the millennial generation is less fascinated by the manufacturing sector than Gen Z. Millennials have a general insight that manufacturing is outdated, while Gen Z happens to believe that the industry is ‘cool’.

Gen Z (which is the digital generation) workers are important to the manufacturing industry’s capability to prosper in the post-pandemic economy. By being more appreciative of and taking on their strengths, manufacturers can generate top performers, providing exciting career prospects and enhancing output all through the complete organisation and presenting companies a competitive plus in a teeming talent marketplace.

This generation grew up with technology, away from paper, scrolling through Instagram & TikTok. Therefore, manufacturing companies need to augment their hiring and training with virtual platforms. They should allow Gen Z to share their technical abilities with older workers, which can also generate new peer networks. Manufacturers can bring about mentorship and job shadowing programmes for Gen Z employees to work beside older generations of qualified workers. This will boost the passage of know-how, while driving the motivations of the boomer workforce (who like teaching) and Gen Z (who have the thirst to learn).

Gen Z is more at ease with and expects fast digital change and innovation in the workplace, which is beneficial to the company & manufacturing industry alike. They not only know technology but depend on it. Industry 4.0 is not just about technology, it is also about efficiency leveraged through technology. While manufacturing gets closer to digital, AI and IoT, it is essential to use these to make Gen Z more suitable for the workforce.

The potential in Gen Z is vast and the manufacturing sector is all the time more bringing in stirring technology-enabled roles, which is apt for this tech savvy generation. It is vital for India’s manufacturing sector to address the collective challenge of Industry 4.0 and Gen Z and change it into an extraordinary scope.

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