There is currently a large gap between the demand of the manufacturing job market and the qualifications required to actually work in it. With unemployment rate still above 7%, it is surprising to learn that there is still a large availability of manufacturing jobs. An explanation for this is the extensive job training that is required in many manufacturing positions.
Most businesses today are lean, and therefore prefer qualified applicants with basic numeric and computer skills to operate complex CNC machinery. Thus, there is a mismatch between the skills of the candidate pool and the job requirements.
In an attempt to address this gap, community and technical colleges are trying to provide the training required by the industry. Since an attractive candidate for a manufacturing position would have the familiarity to setup and run a CNC machine effectively, it is in the school’s best interest to provide the necessary knowledge and hands on experience. This provides a unique market opportunity for CNC machine manufacturers. As students demand more creativity and engagement in their learning practices, educational institutions want to care for these needs. Most schools have now adopted a course structure of 75% CNC and 25% manual machining instead of the 25% CNC machining they had used previously.
The major obstacle that educational facilities face is the financial feasibility of investing in this machinery. If machine tool vendors can produce a low cost equipment to suit the limited budget and justifications required by these schools, it can open up a new market. The solution may be as simple as producing an education-friendly version of their original product. It does not need to be seen in a complete sales-oriented perspective. It can be seen as a balance of business and corporate social responsibility.