“Factory Workforce Training Survey” Reveals Top Workforce Training and Skills Tracking Challenges


Poka, Industry Week and Informa Engage recently conducted a survey of manufacturing professionals working at companies that operate anywhere from one to more than 10 plants and employ a staff ranging from fewer than 100 workers to more than 500. The purpose of the survey was to highlight the current state of workforce training and skills tracking methodologies in the manufacturing sector and to better understand the challenges and needs of these companies. This is a vital first step to closing the skills gap.


The 2018 results show that many companies are still struggling to evolve their training systems and practices. Here are 5 key issues that were revealed in the survey.

1) Scheduling, effectiveness and retention:
The biggest challenges companies faced with training are scheduling (54%), determining effectiveness (44%), and retention of information (42%).

2) Tracking:
Tracking of the skills and certifications earned by workers in this training is still recorded predominantly either in Excel spreadsheets (54%) or paper records (39%).

3) Time spent training:
New operators receive an average 18 days of training. Established workers receive only an average 3.5 hours per month in training.

4) Reducing turnover:
The majority of respondents have an annual operator turnover of 10%.

5) Determining training responsibility and budget:
Training responsibility and budgeting typically falls under operations. HR is also likely to take responsibility for training, but less likely to have training costs come from their budget.




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